From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up-Bierhorst looks at how various Native peoples transmit environmental wisdom and knowledge through their myths, stories, parables, and proverbs. Broadly divided into five parts covering personality, kinship, restraint, death, and renewal, the author ranges up and down the Americas drawing parallels from the traditions of numerous cultures. The relationships between animals and humans, humans and the earth, and plants and humans are shown in a variety of forms. There is a wealth of information here that goes well beyond what has filtered through to the general public in the forms of Chief Sealth's "enhanced" speech or 30-second commercials on television. What becomes clear is that this is not a subject treated lightly by Native Americans, and that while there is no single "Indian" philosophy concerning the environment, there is a shared awareness of the inseparable relationship between all human beings and all other forms of creation. Bierhorst does an admirable job of allowing these people to speak for themselves without trying to interpret for them. Sources and an extensive bibliography allow readers to delve more deeply into this topic. A solid choice for science collections and where interest in Native Americans or the environment is strong.Lisa Mitten, University of Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.