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Wisdom of Native Americans [Kindle Edition]

Kent Nerburn
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The teachings of the Native Americans provide a connection with the land, the environment, and the simple beauties of life. This collection of writings from revered Native Americans offers timeless, meaningful lessons on living and learning.

Taken from writings, orations, and recorded observations of life, this book selects the best of Native American wisdom and distills it to its essence in short, digestible quotes — perhaps even more timely now than when they were first written. In addition to the short passages, this edition includes the complete Soul of an Indian, as well as other writings by Ohiyesa (Charles Alexander Eastman), one of the great interpreters of American Indian thought, and three great speeches by Chiefs Joseph, Seattle, and Red Jacket.

Editorial Reviews


"Every part of all this soil is sacred to my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. The very dust you now stand on responds more willingly to their footsteps than to yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch." — Chief Seattle, from the book

Product Details

  • File Size: 493 KB
  • Print Length: 244 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1577310799
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,469 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
170 of 175 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From One Who Knows Animals Have Souls September 22, 2003
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have bought many books here, but have never felt compelled to write a review until now. As a person who teaches dogs to help the disabled, I know firsthand the oneness you can experience with the spirit of an animal. I have seen loving, selfless dogs heal the lives of so many who were outcast and emotionally broken. Therefore, when I read this work, my soul leapt with joy to finally, FINALLY! find out that others (Nations!) feel about the natural world as I do. While this work doesn't focus solely on animals, but encompasses the Native American view on many, many topics, including life, death, living, nature, The Creator and their experiences with white culture, I truly felt I had found "home" when I came upon their beliefs about animals. In my family's religion, man is supreme, animals have little to no value and when they die, that's it, they're just dead. This wonderful book gives a different perspective on The Spirit of The Creator as it is reflected in people, nature AND animals. A perspective in need of hearing and teaching to so many who today, place no value on our natural world. To me, it was the proverbial cool drink of water on a hot, hot day. Read it and find your soul. Rather, read it, embrace it and reclaim your soul. No doubt you will find it waiting patiently for you in the wilderness ...............
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123 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give this book 10 stars! December 18, 2000
This book is a masterpiece of American Indian philosophy and Spirituality.
This book is basicly a collection of quotes and speeches by various American Indian leaders with a few comments by Mr. Nerburn that edited them into a seamless volume of American Indian thought.
There are quotes here that deal with their Spirituality including reincarnation, Their family Life, Their care for Nature, Honesty, etc.
I am considering buying several more copies of this book to help my family and friends understand my spiritual beliefs.
I only have one minor nitpick. Mr. Nerburn insists on calling the Chief of the Suquamish people "Chief Seattle". His name was Sealth. Seattle was an error in translation.
Yes; Seattle, Washington was named for this wise leader.
Please E-mail me if you have questions or comments about my review. Two Bears.
Wah doh Ogedoda "We give thanks Great Spirit"
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67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A simple yet powerful roadmap to a good life. October 17, 2000
"Let us put our minds together and see what kind of life we can make for our children." --Sitting Bull
Great oratory is often found in a single, heartfelt statement. This powerful little book of wisdom shares so many precious words on how to walk the road to a good life for our own personal journey as well as our families, friends and the world's peoples. Filled with these simple yet profound statements from the indigenous peoples of the Americas they will bring tears to your eyes, laughter to your heart and a little wisdom to your soul.
For the reader who may think this is another "new age title", nothing could be further from the truth as noted in the Chapter, The Coming of the White Ways, "Another of the older men, called upon for his views..."I have come to the conclusion that this Jesus was an Indian. He was opposed to material acquisition and to great possessions. He was inclined to peace...he set no price upon his labor of love." The book closes with the great speeches of Chief Joseph, Chief Seattle and Chief Red Jacket. If all the earth's peoples embraced these simple and timeless rules for living we would be a happier world.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now and Forever February 25, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I will keep this book Now and Forever to remind me of those that have gone before. My ancestors are not and never were just those to whom I am related by blood but those to whom I am related by Spirit. These are they who went before and suffered the ultimate loss. But they left behind a small crumb for me to follow and I honor them for this. Here are their words. Small crumbs of that guidance.

I am grateful to Kent Nerburn for gathering this small volume of wisdom for those of us who care, to keep, and to carry.
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59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected December 4, 2008
While I have a passion for the ways of the ancestors and read this book with great interest, yet at the same time, I cannot help but to ask Kent Nerburn why he felt such editorial license to remove practically everything of substance from Charles Eastman's original 1911 treatise entitled "The Soul of an Indian". The most unfortunate part for me about this book is that in so doing, Mr. Nerburn has substituted his own interpretation for that of the original author and this has resulted in much that was of substance in the original 1911 treatise being removed and stripped.

In a day and age where our people need to hear the voices of those who were "there" and wanted to share their perspecives and teachings with future generations, who wanted to their wisdom with us, for me this was the only draw-back of this anthology but it was a significant one. I thought that I was purchasing the original words of a great Native American, Ohiyesa, but instead peered into a reflection pool: something that gives you the impression of truth but that quickly fades once the first ripple passes over the surface.

My recommendation for future editions is to include the full length text of "The Soul of an Indian". Anything less only contributes to the eradication of Native culture that has been perpetuated against the ways and teachings of our people.
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