With expert knowledge and authoritativeness, Professor Larry J. Zimmerman combines panoramic scope with a wealth of detail in this landmark testimony to the Native American peoples. Despite their many differences, all Native Americans share a profound appreciation of the cycles of nature and a belief in the cosmic interconnectedness of all things. Zimmerman tells the tragic tale of their conquest and dispossession, followed by their survival against the odds and the renewal of pride in a distinctive cultural heritage.
This book also contains detailed chapters on the following capstone topics: tribes and territories, the life of the spirit, symbols, myth, and cosmos as well as ritual and sacrament followed by the survival of the sacred. Review by Brittany: All Native indigenous cultures of North America have essentially celebrated the wisdom, strength, and courage of elders, chiefs, and holy people of generations long past. For instance, many of the best remembered figures were those who attempted to resist the settlers, soldiers, and the politicians of the incoming Europeans and their American successors. This then turned into devastating changes that followed based on in part to the vast differences in the perception of what was culture and overall civilization. However, despite the hardships that the indigenous people of North America were faced with and are still facing today, the author wants its readers to come to a clear understanding and an appreciation for the great history, art, and beliefs of the indigenous peoples. Zimmerman not only wants the readers to understand them as relics of the past, but as a distinctive and diverse part of the contemporary world. In addition, Zimmerman also does an impressive job in highlighting the important facets that fundamentally unites all indigenous peoples, and that is the view of the world being a place of sacred mystery. Their relationship with the world is rooted in the profound respect for the land and all the life within it. Moreover, humans are not above creation, but are essentially a part of it, and the people must form a respectful, balanced relationship with the world around them or the world with all its lush beauty and mysticism will be gone. This philosophy has remained powerful to enable these many cultures to survive in a modern world that we see today. As a result this book covers various important components to Native American culture and also how stories of these traditions and beliefs have stood through the test of time.
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