cover image Enduring Wisdom: Sayings from Native Americans

Enduring Wisdom: Sayings from Native Americans

. Holiday House, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1455-0

Organized into five sections, Enduring Wisdom: Sayings from Native Americans, ed. by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, illus. by Synthia Saint James, presents quotes from various North American tribes. A Sioux Medicine Man's poem (1972) describes how a meaty pot of soup represents the essential elements of life; a 1940 Cree hunter explains why he does not kill ""for killing's sake""; a Nachez mother in 1729 instructs her son, a chief. A foreword by the editor explains that, since Native Americans had no written language ""until long after white people were well established in America,"" these quotes were spoken in prayer, song or conversation, and in this way passed down through the generations. Abstract patterns illustrate the soup poem; bold geometric shapes represent the hunter, while tiny brushstrokes indicate feathers on his bow and leaves on the trees. A handsome, inspiring volume.