Turtle Island Alphabet: A Lexicon of Native American Symbols and Culture

Gerald Hausman, Author, Natachee Scott Momaday, Introduction by St. Martin's Press $19.95 (204p) ISBN 978-0-312-07103-5
Turtle Island is an Indian name for the earth. In this elegant volume, Hausman ( Meditations with the Navajo ) examines major themes of Native American culture as observed in poetry, experience and collective memory. The entries go beyond simple definitions to brief essays on games, houses, blankets, medicine, religion. We learn that the cradle was a sacred object among the Pueblo, the frame notched to record the number of children who had slept in it. Games stem from ancient rituals derived from the hunt. Bead- and quill-work, once dying crafts, have been revived. The 150 illustrations and the volume's design enhance Hausman's lyrical text. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/30/1992
Release date: 04/01/1992
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