Dancing Rainbows

Evelyn Clarke Mott, Author, Evelyn Clarke Mott, Photographer
Evelyn Clarke Mott, Author, Evelyn Clarke Mott, Photographer Dutton Books $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-65216-8
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It's Feast Day at San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico, and the Tewa tribe of Pueblo Indians has gathered for a day of dancing, drums, feasting and prayer. Bringing readers behind the scenes, Mott's (A Day at the Races with Austin & Kyle Petty) deftly turned photo-essay introduces a Pueblo boy, Curt, and his grandfather, Andy, a tribe elder, as they prepare for the festivities. Details of Pueblo culture are interspersed: the horno, or outdoor oven, used for baking the 70 loaves of bread needed for Feast Day; the elaborate, feathered headdresses integral to the ritual dances; the symbolism in their costumes. Invoking Andy's lessons to Curt, the text gracefully stresses the tribe's traditional reverence for and spiritual connection to nature. The vibrant photographs work almost as a photo album, showing the day's events as well as the special relationship Curt and his grandfather, a tribe elder, share. While including a generous assortment of photos of costumed dancers, young and old, Mott has gone beyond preserving the pageantry of a single occasion to pay homage to the Tewa and their way of life. Ages 7-11. (Apr.)
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