Skywoman: Legends of the Iroquois

Overview

When Skywoman falls from the upper world, the birds and animals living in the watery place below must catch her and create ground on which she can stand. Thus Turtle Island, the earth, is born. In this beautifully illustrated book, two Native American writers tell the ancient stories of the Iroquois peoples. Beginning with Skyworld and the creation of Earth, the authors weave together tales of creation, of the bravery of children and the compassion of animals, stories of greed and cruelty, reverence, adventure ...
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Overview

When Skywoman falls from the upper world, the birds and animals living in the watery place below must catch her and create ground on which she can stand. Thus Turtle Island, the earth, is born. In this beautifully illustrated book, two Native American writers tell the ancient stories of the Iroquois peoples. Beginning with Skyworld and the creation of Earth, the authors weave together tales of creation, of the bravery of children and the compassion of animals, stories of greed and cruelty, reverence, adventure and wonder. The final story tells of the Iroquois Peacemaker and the woman who spread his message among the warring peoples of the northeast. The Great Law of the Peacemaker is preserved by the peoples of the Iroquois Confederacy to this day. In their beautiful and haunting drawings and paintings, John Fadden and his son David capture the spirit of stories they have known all their lives. Skywoman is storytelling at its best. It will be enjoyed by young and old, by everyone who treasures the wisdom and traditions of the first Americans.

About the Authors:

Joanne Shenandoah-Tekalihwa:Khwa, a Wolf Clan member of Iroquois Confederacy, Oneida Nation, was selected 1994 Native Musician of the Year by the First Americans in the Arts Foundation, for preserving traditional values in the field of contemporary music. The winner of many other awards, she has made numerous recordings in the United States and abroad of music ranging from traditional chants to contemporary ballads about Native ways. Joanne Shenandoah resides in Oneida Iroquois Territory, New York with her husband, Douglas George, and their children.

Douglas M. George-Kanentiio is an award-winning freelance columnist for the "Syracuse Herald Journal" in Syracuse, New York, and a Native of the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, Mohawk Nation. Nationally recognized as an authority on Iroquois politics and culture, he has served as advisor, producer, and script-writer for national television documentaries on Iroquois subjects.

John Kahionhes Fadden is a renowned artist and illustrator, now retired from a long career in art education. His son David Kanietakeron Fadden is a recognized artist and illustrator. Both are members of the Mohawk Nation.

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Editorial Reviews

Childrens Bookwatch
In this beautiful book illustrated by the artwork of John Fadden and David Fadden, storytellers Joanne Shanandoah and Douglas M. George (two Native American writers) tell the ancient tales and legends of the Iroquois peoples for a new generation of young readers. Skywoman is storytelling at its best and will be enjoyed by young and old, by everyone who treasures the wisdom and traditions of the first Americans.
NAPRA Review
Fifteen years ago it was impossible to find a published book of Iroquois legends told with an authentic native voice; that makes this generous compilation of Iroquois legends a rare treasure....Many of the stories have complex and thought-provoking dimensions, but the narrative line is kept simple so that the legends can be followed by children of any age.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8--Shenandoah-Tekalihwa:khwa and George-Kanentiio retell nine traditional Iroquois tales. In a series of creation stories, readers learn how Skywoman fell from the world above, how the animals spread mud on the back of a turtle to catch her and the Earth was born, how the moon was formed, and how human beings were created. Other tales describe the origin of the dancing star constellation and of the evergreen. One selection tells "How the Bear Clan Became Healers" and another describes a sea creature in Lake Ontario. Full-color single- and double-page spreads and black-and-white pen-and-ink drawings depict the action and provide cultural details. The dignity and clarity so much a part of Native American storytelling are evident in this volume. Joseph Bruchac has included some of the stories in his Iroquois Stories (Crossing, 1985) and Native American Stories (Fulcrum, 1991). Although the selections in Skywoman subtly work in Iroquois traditions, there is no introduction explaining Iroquois history or customs and no source notes are provided. Still, the combination of solid writing and evocative artwork make this book a worthwhile purchase for libraries needing additional Native American legends.--Cheryl Cufari, Glencliff Elementary School, Niskayuna, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780940666993
  • Publisher: Clear Light Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 108
  • Sales rank: 714,957
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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