"Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days" is a signature edition of collected quotations and sayings of North American Plains members of different tribes plus a stunning array of historic, rare sepia and white photographs of Native Americans of the Plains taken before 1904. Michael Oren has edited some of the proverbs and quotations, but the impact of the wisdom is unmitigated. Here are pictures of herds of buffalo, mothers and children in beaded cradleboards, Indian boys and girls at play with corn husk dolls and bows and arrows, and whole tribes riding horses pulling travois laden with buffalo hide tens and camp supplies. Here also are photos of bowls, spoons, corn, meat drying racks, pottery, jewelry, and rugs, and their making. All pictures are further explained in quotations of words from documented Native American individuals, with much guidance and valuable life messages contained in each utterance. The last few pages show modern color photos of Native American children of today, some still in special tribal dress. "Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days" is a fascinating window into the past of North America's many Plains Native American tribes, sure to be enjoyed by children ages 4-8 and their parents, caretakers, and educators
Michael [Fitzgerald] has helped to preserve the spiritual traditions of the Crow Sun Dance and he has helped to show us the wisdom of the old-timers.
Michael Fitzgerald has heard the poignant narratives of the American Indian people, and has lived among the Crow people for extended periods of time since 1970. He has studied American Indian religious traditions on the earth, among the people, in ceremonies and family gatherings. We thank Fitzgerald for his deep-seated appreciation, honor, and respect for American Indian culture, its religion, language, and lifeways.
I greatly appreciate the recovery work that Fitzgerald is doing, work that makes available for the classroom and popular use texts that have been all but buried in libraries.
Gr 3–6—This gem showcases the traditional life of the Plains Indians who "resist[ed] the white encroachment" the longest. Although the tribes included had varied cultures, Fitzgerald focuses on two common themes: moral character and the "sacred quality of virgin Nature." Categorized under headings such as "Mothers," "Girls at Play," "Boys Love Bows and Arrows," "Daily Camp Life," "Music and Dance," "Living in Nature," and "The Olden Days Have Vanished," each section is generously illustrated with sepia-toned archival photos. Quotes from important members of the tribes, people who had experienced firsthand or learned the traditional ways from elders, make up most of the text. Some of the quotes seem tangential at times. Others have been simplified for the intended audience, but they are not identified. The images are carefully positioned, and spot color photos of cultural artifacts add detail to each topic. The concluding pages, "…But Many Traditions Live On," switch to color pictures of modern children participating in traditional activities. For the art alone, this will be a useful addition.—Carol S. Surges, formerly at Longfellow Middle School, Wauwatosa, WI