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Me and Mine: The Life Story of Helen Sekaquaptewa Paperback – June 1, 1969


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press (June 1, 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816502706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816502707
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #770,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An honest story of a life of integrity and genuine values, told with sensitivity." —Journal of Arizona History

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
About 1270 A.D., the Anasazi (now called Ancestral Pueblo) and Fremont were forced to evacuate Utah and Colorado because of a prolonged drought that lasted several decades. Scholars have studied these peoples' ruins, pictographs, human remains and artifacts to learn more about their culture. From these reports we now know what they ate and wore, where they lived and farmed, and how they made pottery, baskets and other crafts. We also have some insight into their belief systems, family relationships and how they defended themselves. Despite all this data, there are still many unanswered questions that must be resolved. Perhaps looking at the lifestyles of some of the descendants of these people will provide a few answers. Many of today's anthropologists believe Arizona's Hopi, Pueblo and Zuni people are the descendants of the Anasazi and Fremont. Helen's touching account of her childhood in a traditional Hopi village, provides a view of practices that may have been used or originated in the Great Basin more than a thousand years ago. Her narration describes the coming of age ceremonies in the kivas, the functions of the Kachinas (Kachinavaki), her parents' discipline, farming and cooking practices and her people's belief system. Sadly it also tells of the emotional pain she experienced when she was taken from her family and forced to attend the white man's schools. Despite her many challenges, she proved remarkably resilient and later describes how she and her husband struggled to teach their children an appreciation of both cultures. There is sadness in this story but no bitterness or hatred toward the white man or his culture.Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ST on June 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent resource for people who want a first-hand, authentic account of life for Native Americans in the 20th century.

This book gives an interesting perspective into the Hopi culture and the impact the outside culture has made on Helen's generation and those that followed. As a Native American, I can appreciate the struggles and triumphs that our elders had when faced with assimilation, stripping of our Native ways, and raising their families. I recommend this book for those that are seeking an intimate look into the Native American culture.
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By Reader on June 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
I won't repeat what others have already said about the cultural and historical context of this autobiography of a Hopi woman. I will say that this is a fascinating, moving, and inspiring story, told in plain, unembellished language, of the life of Helen Sekaquaptewa, who was born in 1898 in the Hopi village of Old Oraibi on the Third Mesa. In vivid detail she recounts her home life from early childhood, the conflicts brought on the tribe by government intervention, her life at the government school, tribal divisions between the "Hostiles" (hostile to the government) and the "Friendlies" (friendly to the government), her courtship and marriage, and raising 10 children (and adopting two more!). The facts of her life are interspersed with descriptions of everything from how cornmeal is prepared, to the construction of a house, the building of a bread-baking oven for preparing the unique Hopi piki bread, and many other interesting details from daily life. Throughout, her stoic tone belies the great hardships and suffering she and her family endured. She also seems to have been a person of considerable integrity, generosity, good will, and a love of learning, and that these character traits saw her through a life fraught with almost unbelievable events, and that she, together with her loving husband, was able to instill these traits in her children. This is really a fascinating story and a great read. I was moved and inspired.
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Format: Paperback
This book is so amazing to me. It is an account of Helen Sekaquaptewa and her struggles as she was hauled off to an "indian school" as well as many recollections of her life and culture. People interested in the native Americans and especially the Hopis will likely find this a very interesting story. Certain parts of it were so impressive to me, that I've quoted them on many occasions.
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By Amazon Customer on October 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting memories from Helen's early child and adulthood. Also ready the 4th world of the Hopi Indians and many of the same legends where told.
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