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A Mixed Medicine Bag: Original Black Wampanoag Folklore Paperback – February 9, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A Mixed Medicine Bag brings together the voices of African and Native American storytellers through this young griot. Mwalim *7 )'s tales honor the ancestors." --Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets

"Mwalim's brand of storytelling is a unique and engaging blend of social commentary, intertwined with wry humor for all ages." --Ed Bullins, Renowned Playwright, Distinguished Artist-In-Residence, Northeastern University

"Mwalim is a Native-Afro street poet and storyteller whose flow takes you through the valleys and mountains of a world as experienced by a Black Wampanoag Warrior who keeps it real all of the time!" --Cedric "Qaqeemasq" Cromwell (Running Bear), Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Board Member

About the Author

Mwalim (Morgan James Peters, I) is an award winning, Mashpee Wampanoag performing artist, writer, and educator. A master storyteller, his body of work includes many plays, stories, performance pieces, essays, poems, articles, and musical compositions. Growing up immersed in the oral traditions of his Black and Northeastern Native American heritages, Mwalim is a keeper of both the New World Griot and Wampanoag Ahanaeenun (Clown) traditions. His body of work is a rich blend of humor, folk-wisdom, and social commentary. As a performer his stages have included theatres, coffeehouses, powwows, festivals, nightclubs, colleges, museums, schools, jails, temples, libraries, and street corners throughout the USA and Canada. He is a recording artist on Midnight Groove Records. As a folklorist and educator, Mwalim has been an artist-in-residence and lecturer at arts and educational institutions throughout the eastern United States. An Assistant Professor of English and African/ African American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, his Black Folklore & Aesthetics course is one of the most popular classes on campus. Mwalim is a playwright-in-residence at New African Company in Boston, and a Historian for the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. He is a past recipient of the Longwood Cyber Artist Fellowship, the 2003 New York Theatre Forum's "Outstanding New Playwright" award, and a three-time recipient of the Ira Aldridge Fellowship. Mwalim earned his BA in Music and MS in Film from Boston University as well as an MFA from Goddard College. Mwalim currently lives in the National Wampanoag Territory (Southeastern Massachusetts) with his son, Zyggi.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Talking Drum Press; 2 edition (February 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966242815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966242812
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,839,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I first heard Mwalim tell some of these stories at a school in Hartford, Ct. I was thrilled to see them in book form! This is a wonderful text andmy grandchildren enjoyed the stories that I've shared with them at bed time. A book for all ages.
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A Mixed Medicine Bag by Mwalim is a combination of urban and Black Wampanoag folklore reminiscent of Aesop's fables minus the morals provided at the end. Mwalim conveys his tales and allows the readers to draw from them what they need to; be it a lesson or simply a funny story.

In `Three Locks of Hair', readers learn of Faruq's rise to his place on a throne by outsmarting those that were against him but you also are fed with the underlying message that knowledge is priceless. Mwalim also introduced me to the `Backwoods People' while he chanted:


He explained that Backwoods people had a different way of living but it worked for them. It was similar to back in the days when you could ask your neighbor for what you needed and it was given to you with no problems or expectations. Everybody knew everybody and life was simple and enjoyable. In this tale, which has a couple of parts in the book, messages of acceptance, unity, and change scream from the pages.

A Mixed Medicine Bag is a good tool for bringing back qualities that seem to have become secondary in our society like peace, justice, friendship, and common sense. It can be read by children, teens, adults, and elders and each group is guaranteed to re-evaluate their priorities, even if only momentarily. The book has a natural flow and most of the characters from each tale are re-introduced in other stories leaving you with a feeling of connectedness. Mwalim is an excellent storyteller and I recommend A Mixed Medicine Bag to all readers, even those who claim to dislike folklore. I look forward to reading his future works.

Reviewed by Darnetta Frazier

APOOO BookClub
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Folklore - The traditional beliefs values, stories, customs, and wisdom of a community, passed on by word of mouth. --MWebster

A MIXED MEDICINE BAG is a gathering of fifteen original Black Wampanoag folk-tales. Embracing his Eastern Native American, West Indian, and African-American heritage, MWALIM shares his gift, as a young griot, to maintain an age old storytelling tradition.

MWALIM gives his original lore to audiences at every occasion from powwows to festivals, in colleges, churches, community centers, and theaters. Intent on sharing his gift to reach people in all walks of life, he has even shared his skills and talent on street corners, in coffeehouses and jails. With MWLAIM, one of the central paradoxes of communication is that what is said, what is heard, and what is meant, rarely ever match. This leaves a tremendous gap in human communication. To him allegory and lore are still the best ways to preserve and communicate our beliefs and values.

A MIXED MEDICINE BAG takes readers on a vicarious journey when folklore was authentic, and to a time when people actually believed in them. This book makes for very interesting reading.

Reviewed by aNN
of The RAWSISTAZ(tm) Reviewers
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His voice varies from story to story, taking on one aspect in the parables of the animals of the woods, another in the tales of the backwoods people, and yet again another voice as he relates a story about the legacy of a jazz musician. Mwalim captures the sense of the spoken word on each page, giving the reader the experience of being with him as he tells his tales.
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I've always been a huge fan of fables from all over the world and this collection is a real treat.
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