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The Sound of Rattles and Clappers: A Collection of New California Indian Writing


In this anthology of poetry and fiction, ten Native Americans of California Indian ancestry illuminate aspects of their respective native cultures in works characterized by a profound love of place and people, as well as by anger over political oppression and social problems

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In this anthology of poetry and fiction, ten Native Americans of California Indian ancestry illuminate aspects of their respective native cultures in works characterized by a profound love of place and people, as well as by anger over political oppression and social problems

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This volume brings together writings by 10 Californian Native Americans. The work includes stories, performance art texts and an essay on Native American cuisine, but the primary form is poetry. Janice Gould's ``We Exist'' expresses the urgent impulse behind this work: ``Our writers try to counteract the history / that says we are dead, a conquered People. / But our words are like a shout in a blizzard.'' Yet if the recovery and celebration of culture and indictment of the oppressor seem to be drowned out by an uncaring mass culture, Wendy Rose's ``For the Scholar Who Wrote a Book About the `American Indian Literary Renaissance' '' points out the danger of mass appeal, that the mainstream treats Native American literature as if it only abruptly came into existence when non-Native Americans noticed it. Some of the poetry here is complex, lyrical and political, influenced not only by Native American traditions but by the mainstream of English and American poetry. William Oandasan's ``Round Valley Songs I'' (``an emptied bottle of Coors / ditched in moonlight at Inspiration Point / mirrors the faces of drunkards / cold like snow'') evoke present as well as past tragedy, and the nobility of the modern survivor as well as the ancestor. The disappointment of the anthology is that the editor's introduction fails to contextualize or illuminate these complexities for the reader. (Mar.)
A collection of poems, fiction, and creative autobiographical stories by ten American Indians of California Indian descent: Janice Gould, Frank LaPena/Tauhindauli, James Luna, Stephen Meadows, William Oandasan, Wendy Rose, Georgiana Valoyce-Sanchez, Greg Sarris, Kathleen Smith, and Darryl Babe Wilson. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816514342
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Series: Sun Tracks , #26
  • Pages: 161
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Sound of Rattles and Clappers
Coyotismo 1
Children Who Never Departed 2
Doves 3
History Lesson 3
We Exist 7
Alphabet 8
When Winter Hits Lake Erie 9
To Speak Your Name 9
Blackbirds 10
Three Stories from My Mother 11
Questions of Healing 13
Last Journey 14
Beneath My Heart 14
Untitled: There was a time... 17
I Am Stone of Many Colors 19
Wrapped Hair Bundles 19
The Year of Winter 20
Waiting for a Second Time 21
The Man Who Travels 24
Hands Tell 25
Red Crane Coming 25
Red Pond 26
Rabbit Crazy 26
Untitled 27
The Universe Sings 28
Half Indian / Half Mexican 31
The Artifact Piece 33
He's Resting Now 34
"The News" 35
Untitled 35
City Notes 35
Mr. Anonymous 35
"How to Make an Ass of Yourself" 36
Untitled 36
Morning Reservation 36
Untitled 37
"Red Shoes" 37
Notes: 1985 / James Luna / Luiseno Indian 38
Johns Song 41
A Fire If It Burns 42
In the Shadow of the Tower 43
Blues For Juanito 43
The Intrusion 44
Grass Valley 45
For My Father Having Lost His Mind 45
For Chief Joseph 46
The Dying Place 46
Bare-Root 47
The Spirit of the Bayonet 47
Suicide Creek 48
At the Crossing 49
For the Living 49
Grandmothers Land 51
Round Valley Songs I 52
Round Valley Songs II 53
Natural Law 55
Hunger 56
Laguna Landscape 57
Acoma 57
We Live! 59
For the Scholar Who Wrote a Book About the "American Indian Literary Renaissance" 62
Trophy in Two Acts 63
For the Campus Committee on the Quality of Life 65
For the Angry White Student Who Wanted to Know if I Thought White People Ever Did Anything Good for 'the Indians' 66
The Endangered Roots of a Person 68
If I Am Too Brown or Too White for You 69
Moths Point the Way to Oklahoma 70
April Daughtersong 71
A Light To Do Shellwork By 73
The Eye of the Flute 75
The Dolphin Walking Stick 77
Have Faith 79
Chumash Man 79
I Saw My Father Today 80
Cahuilla Bird Song 81
Fat of the Land 82
Mama's Water Story 83
Petroglyphs 85
The Dreaming 85
Awake 86
Summer 1945 87
Confessions of an American Indian Parochial-School Teacher 89
Sam Toms' Last Song 93
The Progress of This Disease 109
Crab Louis and the Jitterbug 127
The Bitter and the Sweet 130
Abalone: A Precious Gift 133
Diamond Island: Alcatraz 137
Gedin Ch-Lum-Nu / "Let It Be This Way" 143
Et-Wi 149
Before There Was Something, There Was Nothing: The Creation 152
Splashes of Red 159
Dancing 160
Acknowledgments 163
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