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Living with Animals: Ojibwe Spirit Powers Paperback – February 5, 2014

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Editorial Reviews


‘An impressive piece of scholarship and it breaks new ground regarding the Midewiwin or Grand Medicine Society… Living with Animals is a welcome resource for students and scholars and I also highly recommend to general readers who have an interest in native spirituality.’ (Lawrence T. Martin Prairie Messenger July 2, 2014)

‘This engaging and engrossing study focuses on the cultural forms of Native expression in 19th-century Ojibwe medicine societies and communities… Living with Animals offers an impressive amount of meticulous data—including traditional narratives, scrolls, textiles, and petroglyphs.’ (A.R. McKee Choice vol 52:02:2014)

‘This book makes a unique contribution to the literature on Ojibwe culture by emphasizing the place of animal and spiritual beings in nineteenth-century Ojibwe ontology, behavior and world view.’

(Darrel Manitowabi The Canadian Journal of Native Studies vol 34:02:2014)


“Pomedli’s book is a work of careful, well-documented scholarship on animal symbolism in the Ojibwe Midewiwin, an important topic which has not been much addressed by earlier scholars. The author has clearly done an enormous amount of careful research, gathering information from many kinds of sources, including traditional narratives, birchbark scrolls and petroglyphs, and textiles and other media.”

(Lawrence Martin, Professor Emeritus of American Indian Studies, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire)

Living with Animals is the work of a mature scholar, based on years of experience in the field. Pomedli’s unique methodology has applications in Native Studies beyond the discussion of Algonquian culture.”

(J. Douglas Rabb, co-author of 'Indian from the Inside: Native American Philosophy and Cultural Renewal')

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division (February 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144261479X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442614796
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,839,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mound on February 26, 2014
Format: Paperback
Review of Living With Animals by Michael Pomedli

Appendix D on the Ojibwe historical relationship with copper makes the value of this book exceed its price. For instance, Pomedli discusses prehistoric copper mining: "these aboriginal miners demonstrated enterprise and perseverance with regard to copper and made a very large supply of copper available for use...". A legend told by Ojibwe connects the heated copper nuggets used to boil water to the chemical hazards released. The copper used to boil water releases malignant vapors into water, which are attributed to the poisoning death of several early explorers.

Otherwise the book is filled with remarkable written pictographic descriptions that are tied to birchbark scrolls, making it one of the best publications since Dewdney's 1975 Sacred Scrolls of the Southern Ojibwe. Highly recommended!
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