Monday, August 13, 2007

Southern New England Native Americans Write Their Own History

I'm always excited when I find new books written by indigenous peoples about their own history. One area that has been lacking any publications is that of New England. Well, no longer. For the first time in the 400 year colonial history of the American Indians of southern New England have they written their own story. Covering all modes of their traditional life, A Cultural History of the Native Peoples of Southern New England is a landmark publication.

Very few books on the history and culture of the southern New England indigenous peoples have been written by the Native themselves. Standard academic books read like a clinical autopsy of a dead culture from many years ago. Contrary to this, A Cultural History of the Native Peoples of Southern New England provides an understanding of the ways, customs, and language of the southern New England American Indians from the Native’s perspective. Written and compiled by two Wampanoag Indians, the book incorporates voices of modern Elders and other Natives spanning the historic records of the 1500s and 1600s. As author Moondancer stressed, “everything about the beauty, power, and richness of our culture has been included.”

Sections of the book cover appearance, language, family and relations, religion, the body and senses, marriage, sickness, war, games, hunting, and much more. This book is one step in many by the Native peoples of southern New England as they reclaim their culture and identity. As Moondancer noted, “The proud and fiercely independent Native American peoples of southern New England once walked tall and proud on this land. With this book, we are now beginning to walk tall again.”

For more information visit: Bauu Press.

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