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Me and Mine: The Life Story of Helen Sekaquaptewa Paperback – June 1, 1969
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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.
When I was in grad school and we were studying different ethnic groups, the American Indian Movement was the largest part of our focus, and where current student sympathies were focused. This is really the first time I have read a biography presenting the other perspective. This book tells the life story of a Hopi woman who, after being kidnapped and sent to government schools, embraced that white way of life and believed the stories of Christianity to be better than the old traditional Hopi stories. She continued living on reservations, experiencing the tension between the "hostiles" and the "friendlies". As a "friendly" she was looked down upon, judged, and treated poorly by the "hostiles". Her husband and children became active in reservation politics and activities, holding various offices and serving as police. In this book published by the University of Arizona Press in 1962, she is presented as a successful story of assimilation into white culture through white education. (She attended the Phoenix Indian School.) I tend to see it more as Stockholm Syndrome, although with my mental health training, that would be my tendency.
There is a lot of detail about daily life for the Hopi on reservations in the early 1900s which I enjoyed learning about. Lengthy descriptions of marriage rituals are intriguing, for example. Those descriptions made this book interesting reading for me. I was glad to hear a different side of the story, although my admiration still lies with Leonard Peltier and the AIM. That is probably just, perhaps, due to a personal interest in revolutionaries rather than any real knowledge about these issues.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent. A real window into Hopi life in the 19th and 20th centuries.Published 23 months ago by Satisfied in Seattle
The book is definitely used. Like the picture here doesnt represent the product. It was the yellow paperback edition and old and almost tearing apart.Published on November 29, 2013 by Aa
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.Published on October 5, 2013 by Amazon Customer