Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

by Robin Wall Kimmerer

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Overview

A New York Times Bestseller

A Washington Post Bestseller

Named a "Best Essay Collection of the Decade" by Literary Hub

As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert).

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781571313560
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Publication date: 08/11/2015
Pages: 408
Sales rank: 231
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses. She lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.

Table of Contents


Preface

Planting Sweetgrass
Skywoman Falling
The Pecan Grove
An Offering
The Gift of Strawberries
Asters and Goldenrod
Learning the Grammar of Animacy

Tending Sweetgrass
Maple Sugar Moon
Witch Hazel
The Water Net
The Condolence of Water Lilies
Allegiance to Gratitude

Picking Sweetgrass
Epiphany in the Beans
The Three Sisters
Wisgaak Gokpenagen: A Black Ash basket
Mishkos Kenomagwen: The Teachings of Grass
Maple Nation: A Citizenship Guide
The Honorable Harvest

Braiding Sweetgrass
In the Footsteps of Nanabozho: Becoming Indigenous to Place
The Sound of Silverbells
Sitting in a Circle
Burning Cascade Head
Putting Down Roots
Umbilicaria: The bellybutton of the World
Old Growth Children
Witness to the Rain

Burning Sweetgrass
Windigo Footprints
The Sacred and the Superfund
Collateral Damage
People of Corn, People of Light
Shkitagen: People of the Seventh Fire
Defeating Windigo

Epilogue: Returning the Gift

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