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The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet

Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American;
Status: In Print
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;
Authentic Indigenous Text

The lights of the night, especially the stars and the moon, have captivated Native American peoples across North America and elsewhere for centuries. Joseph Bruchac, an Abenaki storyteller, has collected in this companion volume to Thirteen Moon's on Turtle's Back a series of stories what these celestial bodies mean to diverse Native American cultures; he then retells them in lyric poetry. Included are "Sky Bear" of the Mohawk, "Song to the Firefly" of the Anishinabe, "Flute Song" of the Pima (which evokes the myths of Kokopeli), "The Northern Lights" of the Missisquoi, "Mother's Bragging Song" of the Winnebago, "The Scattered Stars" of the Cochiti Pueblo, "The Seven Mateinnu" of the Lenape, "The Tale of Pinon Gatherers" of the Chumash, "A Summer Song" of the Inuit, "The Old Wolf's Song" of the Lakota, "Dawn House Song" of the Navajo, and "Spirit Dance Song" of the Pawnee. Mr. Bruchac, in an Author's Note at the end of the volume, explains what these stories mean to all Native American peoples, children and adults alike. He reveals that the constellation we know as the Big Dipper (the Drinking Gourd in African-American folklore) is also seen as a great bear, the Sky Bear of his poetry, something many of us all too often take for granted.