National Native American Month

Posted on November 16, 2017. Filed under: Fiction, Nonfiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This year Oakton Community College Library has displays celebrating National Native American Month. In 1990 President George H. Bush, signed legislation designating November as National Native American Month. Its purpose is to recognize the contributions Native Americans have made to the United States.

9780252081712_p0_v1_s550x406Indians Illustrated: The Image of Native Americans in the Pictorial Press
By John M. Coward

“After 1850, Americans swarmed to take in a raft of new illustrated journals and papers. Engravings and drawings of ‘buckskinned braves’ and ‘Indian princesses’ proved an immensely popular attraction for consumers of publications like Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper and Harper’s Weekly.

In Indians Illustrated, John M. Coward charts a social and cultural history of Native American illustrations—romantic, violent, racist, peaceful, and otherwise—in the heyday of the American pictorial press. These woodblock engravings and ink drawings placed Native Americans into categories that drew from venerable ‘good’ Indian and ‘bad’ Indian stereotypes already threaded through the culture.

Coward’s examples show how the genre cemented white ideas about how Indians should look and behave—ideas that diminished Native Americans’ cultural values and political influence. His powerful analysis of themes and visual tropes unlocks the racial codes and visual cues that whites used to represent—and marginalize—native cultures already engaged in a twilight struggle against inexorable westward expansion” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780142405963_p0_v1_s550x406Code Talker: A Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War Two
by Joseph Bruchac

“Throughout World War II, in the conflict fought against Japan, Navajo code talkers were a crucial part of the U.S. effort, sending messages back and forth in an unbreakable code that used their native language. They braved some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with their code, they saved countless American lives. Yet their story remained classified for more than twenty years.

But now Joseph Bruchac brings their stories to life for young adults through the riveting fictional tale of Ned Begay, a sixteen-year-old Navajo boy who becomes a code talker. His grueling journey is eye-opening and inspiring. This deeply affecting novel honors all of those young men, like Ned, who dared to serve, and it honors the culture and language of the Navajo Indians” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780307755391_p0_v1_s550x406Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World
by Jack Weatherford

“After 500 years, the world’s huge debt to the wisdom of the Indians of the Americas has finally been explored in all its vivid drama by anthropologist Jack Weatherford. He traces the crucial contributions made by the Indians to our federal system of government, our democratic institutions, modern medicine, agriculture, architecture, and ecology, and in this astonishing, ground-breaking book takes a giant step toward recovering a true American history” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9781469633381_p0_v2_s550x406The Red Atlantic: American Indigenes and the Making of the Modern World, 1000-1927
by Jace Weaver

“Indigenous Americans, Weaver shows, crossed the Atlantic as royal dignitaries, diplomats, slaves, laborers, soldiers, performers, and tourists. And they carried resources and knowledge that shaped world civilization—from chocolate, tobacco, and potatoes to terrace farming and suspension bridges.

Weaver makes clear that indigenous travelers were cosmopolitan agents of international change whose engagement with other societies gave them the tools to advocate for their own sovereignty even as it was challenged by colonialism” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

 

9780544102767_p0_v1_s550x406Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis
By Timothy Egan

“Edward Curtis was charismatic, handsome, a passionate mountaineer, and a famous portrait photographer, the Annie Leibovitz of his time. He moved in rarefied circles, a friend to presidents, vaudeville stars, leading thinkers. But when he was thirty-two years old, in 1900, he gave it all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent’s original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared.

Curtis spent the next three decades documenting the stories and rituals of more than eighty North American tribes. It took tremendous perseverance—ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him to observe their Snake Dance ceremony. And the undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. Curtis would amass more than 40,000 photographs and 10,000 audio recordings, and he is credited with making the first narrative documentary film. In the process, the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780802141170_p0_v1_s550x406Ten Little Indians: Stories
By Sherman Alexie.
“Sherman Alexie is one of our most acclaimed and popular writers today. With Ten Little Indians, he offers nine poignant and emotionally resonant new stories about Native Americans who, like all Americans, find themselves at personal and cultural crossroads, faced with heartrending, tragic, sometimes wondrous moments of being that test their loyalties, their capacities, and their notions of who they are and who they love.

In Alexie’s first story, ‘The Search Engine,’ Corliss is a rugged and resourceful student who finds in books the magic she was denied while growing up poor. In ‘The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above,’ an intellectual feminist Spokane Indian woman saves the lives of dozens of white women all around her to the bewilderment of her only child. ‘What You Pawn I Will Redeem’ starts off with a homeless man recognizing in a pawn shop window the fancy-dance regalia that was stolen fifty years earlier from his late grandmother.

Even as they often make us laugh, Alexie’s stories are driven by a haunting lyricism and naked candor that cut to the heart of the human experience, shedding brilliant light on what happens when we grow into and out of each other” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

51dzzxg2-tlSeven Arrows
by Hyemeyohsts Storm

“A heartbreaking story of victory, defeat, and of a spiritual search in a profane world, this is the story of Night Bear and his people. It is the tale of the land they cherish and the lives they hold sacred, lived until the enemy can no longer be stopped, and the dead have few left to weep for them” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780061967818_p0_v1_s550x406The Wailing Wind
By Tony Hillerman

“To Officer Bernadette Manuelito, the man curled up on the truck seat was just another drunk—which got Bernie in trouble for mishandling a crime scene—which got Sergeant Jim Chee in trouble with the FBI—which drew Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn out of retirement and back into the old ‘Golden Calf’ homicide, a case he had hoped to forget.

Nothing had seemed complicated about that earlier one. A con game had gone sour. A swindler had tried to sell wealthy old Wiley Denton the location of one of the West’s multitude of legendary lost gold mines. Denton had shot the swindler, called the police, confessed the homicide, and done his short prison time. No mystery there.

Except why did the rich man’s bride vanish? The cynics said she was part of the swindle plot. She’d fled when it failed. But, alas, old Joe Leaphorn was a romantic. He believed in love, and thus the Golden Calf case still troubled him. Now, papers found in this new homicide case connect the victim to Denton and to the mythical Golden Calf Mine. The first Golden Calf victim had been there just hours before Denton killed him. And while Denton was killing him, four children trespassing among the rows of empty bunkers in the long-abandoned Wingate Ordnance Depot called in an odd report to the police. They had heard, in the wind wailing around the old buildings, what sounded like music and the cries of a woman.

Bernie Manuelito uses her knowledge of Navajo country, its tribal traditions, and her friendship with a famous old medicine man to unravel the first knot of this puzzle, with Jim Chee putting aside his distaste of the FBI to help her. But the questions raised by this second Golden Calf murder aren’t answered until Leaphorn solves the puzzle left by the first one and discovers what the young trespassers heard in the wailing wind” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9781611860818_p0_v1_s550x406Seeing Red: Hollywood’s Pixeled Skins: American Indians and Film
edited by LeAnne Howe, Harvey Markowitz, and Denise K. Cummings

At once informative, comic, and plaintive, Seeing Red: Hollywood’s Pixeled Skins is an anthology of critical reviews that reexamines the ways in which American Indians have traditionally been portrayed in film. From George B. Seitz’s 1925 The Vanishing American’  to Rick Schroder’s 2004 ‘Black Cloud,’ these 36 reviews by prominent scholars of American Indian Studies are accessible, personal, intimate, and oftentimes autobiographic.

Seeing Red: Hollywood’s Pixeled Skins offers indispensable perspectives from American Indian cultures to foreground the dramatic, frequently ridiculous difference between the experiences of Native peoples and their depiction in film. By pointing out and poking fun at the dominant ideologies and perpetuation of stereotypes of Native Americans in Hollywood, the book gives readers the ability to recognize both good filmmaking and the dangers of misrepresenting aboriginal peoples.

The anthology offers a method to historicize and contextualize cinematic representations spanning the blatantly racist, to the well-intentioned, to more recent independent productions. Seeing Red is a unique collaboration by scholars in American Indian Studies that draws on the stereotypical representations of the past to suggest ways of seeing American Indians and indigenous peoples more clearly in the twenty-first century” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

0717951002945_p0_v1_s550x406Smoke Signals

“The lives of two young Native American men, Victor Joseph and Thomas Builds-the-Fire, were literally connected by accident when both were infants and Arnold, Victor’s father, saved Thomas’s life. The two have radically different memories of Arnold Joseph—Victor only remembers his father’s alcoholism, abuse, and abandonment, while Thomas prefers to remember Arnold as a hero, exaggerating Arnold’s life and deeds in a mythmaking fashion that drives Victor crazy.

When Arnold dies, Thomas offers Victor funding for the trip from Idaho to Phoenix to get Arnold’s remains, but only if Thomas goes with him. In Phoenix, a confrontation with the reality of the dead man’s legacy has a profound effect on both young men. Smoke Signals is the first feature film written, directed, and co-produced by a Native American” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780890133071_p0_v1_s600x595Weaving a World: Textiles and the Navajo Way of Seeing
by Roseann Sandoval Willink and Paul G. Zolbrod ; photographs by John Vavruska

“Navajo weavings, long regarded for their remarkable aesthetics, have never before been investigated from the standpoint of the weaver’s process and intent. This book explores the patterns and irregularities often overlooked or considered ‘flaws’ in these beautiful textiles, and it seeks to identify the mythic symbols and historic and personal stories they contain.

The inclusion of objects and the use of color, pattern, and weave variations are found to be significant symbols of the way a weaver thinks about the world. A weaver may pray her way into the center of the rug, where the most intricate work and color will appear. Patterns may portray a vision of the world animated by spirits and holy people, recounting the creation of the heavens, the earth, and the loom itself. Weaving a World includes seventy rugs from the celebrated collection of the Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and documentary photographs of today’s weaving culture on the Navajo reservation” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

-posted by Kevin Purtell

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