Libraries without Native American collections, looking for a popular overview of Native American history and culture, will be delighted to find this trade paperback on the market. Designed almost entirely in color and printed on heavy paper, the book is done in a style reminiscent of Time-Life theme sets. Often, the print appears on colored backgrounds, and the pages teem with short essays, paragraphs, informative captions, and colored pictures (historical photos are b/w). The authors begin by tracing the general history of Native Americans, noting the period of their arrival in North America, how they identified themselves, and where they settled. They recount the agonizing story of Indian displacement by Europeans and their settlement on reservations. The authors move on to matters symbolic, artistic, linguistic, and spiritual. A substantial portion of the book, titled "The Life of the Spirit," which describes religious beliefs, sacred objects, customs and rituals, will probably be of greatest interest to readers. The authors go on to talk about current life among the Indians, their artistic and cultural conventions, and their efforts to reclaim an identity that has been lost as they have become part of the modern world. There are essays on powwows, tourism, land issues, languages, population patterns, social organization, casinos, and the making of traditional crafts for sale. There is no effort to capture the voice of Indian persons, just to inform, but this the book does quite well. The University of Oklahoma Press should be congratulated on its efforts to make material about Native Americans available to such a wide audience. While this book is basically designed to inform thegeneral public, other books published recently encompass biography and personal and political histories. KLIATT Codes: SARecommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1996, University of Oklahoma Press, 184p, illus, maps, bibliog, index, 21cm, $12.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Edna M. Boardman; Former Lib. Media Spec., Magic City Campus, Minot, ND January 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 1)
Zimmerman, chair of the American Indian and Native Studies Program at the University of Iowa and author of Peoples of Prehistoric South Dakota, and Molyneaux, director of the University of South Dakota Archaeology Laboratory and author of The Sacred Earth, have written a thorough introduction to the Indians of North America. Similar to Sherman's The First Americans (Smithmark, 1996. o.p.), this title covers the history of the Native Americans and their spiritual traditions and rituals, but it doesn't overlook the importance of current issues. Heavily illustrated with 165 color plates and containing high-quality maps and a glossary, this inexpensive volume provides an excellent overview of a topic that is covered in much greater detail in the Smithsonian Institution's multivolume Handbook of North American Indians. Highly recommended for public libraries.--John McCormick, New Hampshire State Lib., Concord Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Larry Zimmerman and Brian Molyneaux successfully collaborate in Native North America to illustrate tribal life, sacred arenas, spiritual traditions, and artifacts of the indigenous peoples of North America, from the Inuit of the Canadian north to the Navajo of the American southwest. After a brief introductory history of Native Americans, individual aboriginal cultures are explored, region by region. The informative surveys include Native American spiritual observances, personal and communal rituals, initiation rites, and curing ceremonies. The reader is provided informative descriptions of the powwow, rites of passage, planting rituals, oral storytelling, dreams, the ghost dance, and the drum. Of special note is an examination of issues facing Native Americans today. A very highly recommended title for students of Native American studies and history, Native North America is vividly illustrated with more than 160 color photographs.