The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions / Edition 2

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This pioneering work, first published in 1986, documents the continuing vitality of American Indian traditions and the crucial role of women in those traditions.

This pioneering work, first published in 1986, documents the continuing vitality of the American Indian tradition and of women's leadership within that tradition. In her new preface to this edition, Allen reflects on the remarkable resurgence of American Indian pride and culture in recent times.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The average life expectancy of the American Indian woman is only 55 years; up to one-fourth of all Indian women have been sterilized without informed consent; the federal government's policies of relocation, forced acculturation and destruction of the wilderness threaten the existence of Indian women and men alike. These harsh realities take on a particular irony, notes Allen, when one considers that many tribal systems were originally gynocracieswoman-centered societies in which female goddesses were worshiped. Allen, a Laguna Pueblo writer and teacher, here assesses the Amerindian woman's status, past and present, in 17 essays. Several pieces deal with contemporary novelists and poets (Silko, Wendy Rose, Momaday, Welch, Mourning Dove). Other essays examine the honored role of lesbians in tribal life, myth and ceremony as the bedrock of literature, genocide in the poetry of Indian women and the ways scholars have largely ignored American Indian women's values and contributions. (May 5)
Reprint of the monograph originally published in 1986 with a new (6 p.) preface by Allen. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807046173
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 9/28/1992
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 728,967
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Paula Gunn Allen's books include The Sacred Hoop (Beacon paperback 0-8070-4617-5 / $15.00) and include Grandmothers of the Light (Beacon paperback 0-8070-8103-5 / $14.00). She is professor of English at UCLA.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the 1992 Edition
Introduction 1
The Ways of Our Grandmothers 9
Grandmother of the Sun: Ritual Gynocracy in Native America 13
When Women Throw Down Bundles: Strong Women Make Strong Nations 30
Where I Come from Is Like This 43
The Word Warriors 51
The Sacred Hoop: A Contemporary Perspective 54
Whose Dream Is This Anyway? Remythologizing and Self-definition in Contemporary American Indian Fiction 76
Something Sacred Going on Out There: Myth and Vision in American Indian Literature 102
The Feminine Landscape of Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony 118
A Stranger in My Own Life: Alienation in American Indian Poetry and Prose 127
The Ceremonial Motion of Indian Time: Long Ago, So Far 147
Answering the Deer: Genocide and Continuance in the Poetry of American Indian Women 155
This Wilderness in My Blood: Spiritual Foundations of the Poetry of Five American Indian Women 165
Pushing Up the Sky 185
Angry Women Are Building: Issues and Struggles Facing American Indian Women Today 189
How the West Was Really Won 194
Who Is Your Mother? Red Roots of White Feminism 209
Kochinnenako in Academe: Three Approaches to Interpreting a Keres Indian Tale 222
Hwame, Koshkalaka, and the Rest: Lesbians in American Indian Cultures 245
Stealing the Thunder: Future Visions for American Indian Women, Tribes, and Literary Studies 262
Notes 269
Selected Bibliography 287
Permissions, Acknowledgments 295
Index 297
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