cover image The Bear Tribe's Self-Reliance Book

The Bear Tribe's Self-Reliance Book

Sun Bear, Tribe, Nimimosha. Fireside Books, $10.95 (198pp) ISBN 978-0-13-071341-4

The authors are members of the Bear Tribe Medicine Society located near Spokane, Wash. Sandwiched between mawkish poetry and tedious lessons on the philosophy of the tribe is practical advice for readers interested in exploring the back-to-nature movement. The book, originally published privately in 1977, discusses methods and resources for purchasing or otherwise obtaining the use of land, growing and preserving food, utilizing herbal medicines, skinning small animals and other skills necessary for success in a primitive, communal setting. Also required are hard work and a willingness to sacrifice many material comforts. The tribe stresses living in harmony with the environment and using nature's gifts with reverence. Except for one section, the authors emphasize the positive aspects of the tribe's way of life rather than dwelling on the ills of some members' previous lifestyles. The ways of the Bear Tribe may not be for everyone, but the volume is a sincere attempt to demonstrate the feasibility of a nurturant relationship with the earth. Illustrations not seen by PW. (July)