Native American Perspectives Bibliography July 1996

Query From Virginia Jenkins 10 July 1996

I'm teaching a course on critics of american culture this fall and I would like to include native American perspectives. Can anyone suggest material in various forms-fiction, non-fiction, poetry, film, etc? Many thanks.

>From Benay Blend 11 July 1996

Allen, Paula Gunn The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions (Beacon Press, 1992)

Brant, Beth Mohawk Trail

Deloria, Vine Custer Died For Your Sins

God is Red

We Talk, You Listen

Jaimes, Annette, ed The State of Native America

Hale, Janet Campbell The Jailing of Cecilia Capture

Hogan, Linda Mean Spirit

Momaday, N. Scott House Made of Dawn

Neihardt, John G. Black Elk Speaks (U of Nebraska Press, 1961)

Naranjo-Morse, Nora Mud Woman: Poems From Clay (U of Arizona Press, 1990)

Roscoe, Will, ed Living the Spirit: A Gay American Indian Anthology (St. Martin's Press, 1987)

Sams, Jaime The Thirteen Original Clan Mothers (Harper, San Francisco, 1994)

Silko, Leslie Marmon Yellow Woman and the Beauty of the Spirit


Vizenor, Gerald recent book of literary criticism

Other Sources:

Film based on Pow-Wow Highway

Robert Redford's Documentary on the Pine Ridge Incident

Do Indians Shave? (film is about 15 mins. long, explores stereotypes)

The Couple in a Cage with G. Gomes Pena (longer format film)

Koyaaniqatsi (non-narrative film, examines pace of American life...title means crazy life, or life without balance)

Response from June 12 July 1996

It is not just my opinion, but the opinion of many., that many of the texts written by individuals are NOT from a NA perspective, but from a white perspective. Some of these individuals write about their mystic native experiences, without actually being native. Native perspective of these individuals are often that they are "wannabee indians" or "nuagers". Native spirituality varies across tribes, and ANY native practice, religious or otherwise, is NEVER for sale, so please use caution in your selection.

Also, many books and other sources portray Native people as a dead culture, ancients in buckskins. We live, we drive, we wear "regular clothes", we go to school, we live other places than reservations! Please, use caution! Stereotypes may not be intended, but many get passed on without knowing it.

Also, it has been disputed that Black Elk Speaks, since it was written by a white man, may not actually reflect Black Elk's actual words and emotions, etc. A lively debate occurred on NA books on Natchat, a Native American listserv (involves both Natives and non-natives, discussing Native issues). They are archived and I will dig up the address if anyone is interested. In peace.

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