Spider Woman's Web

Overview

In the Americas, the oral tradition has created one of the oldest surviving bodies of literature on earth. Native American storytelling, in particular, stands out for its distinctive honoring of womanly power and the female forces of the universe.

Gathered here are traditional versions of stories and songs that best portray this strength and vitality. Illuminating the scope of human behavior—from treacherous mates and medicine men to magical sages and murderous mothers—these ...

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Overview

In the Americas, the oral tradition has created one of the oldest surviving bodies of literature on earth. Native American storytelling, in particular, stands out for its distinctive honoring of womanly power and the female forces of the universe.

Gathered here are traditional versions of stories and songs that best portray this strength and vitality. Illuminating the scope of human behavior—from treacherous mates and medicine men to magical sages and murderous mothers—these tales offer universal truths. And for readers who wish to explore the transformative healing gifts of these stories in a more personal way, each is accompanied by thought-provoking exercises and meditations. Also included are brief introductions to provide historical and cultural context.

Entertaining, educational, and inspirational, this collection of timeless wisdom will shed light on the lives of readers for generations to come.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
This thoughtful collection of 25 Native American tales about strong women ranges from coast to coast in its origins. While not all the tales are about Spider Woman, each features a woman who solves problems or copes well with her situation. Hazen-Hammond further emphasizes the universality of the theme of each story by discussing similar stories from other nations. Little icons indicate the regions where variants appear; a map at the beginning indicates the regions and links the icons. Beyond the thematic structure of the book, Hazen-Hammond offers the opportunity for readers to draw as much as possible from the tales. Each chapter contains a section called "Connecting the Story to Your Life" in which she provides questions and exercises for meditation and writing. The exercises take the book to a deeper level than a collection of tales, and while they seem more geared to adults, they are not beyond the comprehension of older YAs. Some of the exercises could even be adapted for classroom use, and the book is a useful resource for research or reports even without them. Hazen-Hammond organizes her material well, and the overall presentation is attractive and appealing. Her prose is direct and uncluttered, and she has a good ear for the rhythm of a story. The Introduction includes suggestions for getting the most out of the exercises, and a list of suggestions for further reading and a detailed index follow the text. This title may not be for every library, but it is a suitable purchase for public libraries or school libraries where the population warrants it. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1999, Berkley/Perigee, 242p,bibliog, index, 20cm, 99-35823, $14.00. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Donna L. Scanlon; Children's Libn., Lancaster Area Lib., Lancaster, PA, May 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 3)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399525469
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 933,291
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 7.82 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

A former professor at Peninsula College, Susan Hazen-Hammond is the author of Timelines of Native American History and seven other nonfiction books, numerous articles, short stories and poems. She has received high praise for her writing on Native American subjects and has also taught a wide range of psychology courses. Her ancestors include Abenaki men and women.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Key to Symbols

One: Spider Woman Saves Ko-chin-ni-na-ko
Keresan, Southwest Connections

Two: Spider Woman's Web
Athabaskan, Alaska Connections

Three: Qi-yo Ke-pe, The Great Healer
Keresan, Southwest Connections

Four: The Woman Whose Heart Became Ice
Micmac, Northeast Connections

Five: Sedna, Mistress of the Underworld
Inuit, Alaska Connections

Six: The Worm That Devoured Women
Cherokee, Southeast Connections

Seven: White Star Woman and Great Star Man
Pawnee, Great Plains Connections

Eight: Ataensie, The Woman Who Fell from the Sky
Iroquois, Northeast Connections

Nine: The Origin of Corn
Abenaki, Northeast Connections

Ten: First Woman and the People
Navajo, Southwest Connections

Eleven: White Buffalo Woman
Lakota (Sioux), Great Plains Connections

Twelve: The Buffalo Wife
Piegan (Blackfeet), Great Plains Connections

Thirteen: Sweet Corn Woman's Tale
Tewa, Southwest Connections

Fourteen: The Women Warriors
Tewa, Southwest Connections

Fifteen: Coyote Marries His Daughter
Ute, Great Basin Connections

Sixteen: The Abandoned Children
White Clay People (Gros Ventre), Great Plains Connections

Seventeen: The Two Sisters and Their Aunt
Miwok, California Connections

Eighteen: The Woman Who Kept Secrets
Hopi, Southwest Connections

Nineteen: The Quilt of Men's Eyes
Seneca, Northeast Connections

Twenty: The Kidnapped Wife and the Dream Helper
Piegan (Blackfeet), Great Plains Connections

Twenty-One: The Woman Who Built the First Medicine Lodge
Piegan (Blackfeet), Great Plains

Twenty-Two: The Dream of Double Woman
Lakota (Sioux), Great Plains Connections

Twenty-Three: The Woman Who Married the Sea
Samish (Coast Salish), Northwest Coast Connections

Twenty-Four: The Beginning of Wisdom and Law
Yakima, Plateau Connections

Twenty-Five: Dancing for Nomtaimet
Wintu, California Connections

Afterword Acknowledgments For Further Reading Index About the Author About the Covers

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