From Library Journal
Based on the work of anthropologist collectors, this compendium of more than 100 Native American chants and songs revises and updates a prior edition out of print since 1989. "These poems are not translations," argues Swann. They're versions that have gone through "a series of mediations and filters and exist somewhere between the individual lyric voice" and a diverse, multileveled Native American imaginative-mystical identity. Whether versions, translations, or poems, whether sung at a Crazy Dance, potlatch, corn-grinding, or curative or marriage ceremony, whether celebrating buffalo, maize, red fox, or tobacco, these works capture the "otherness" of the primeval spirit of the Native American fusion of natural and supernatural, animal and deity. Originally performed aloud, these "verbal artifacts"--which are sometimes breathtakingly pure, sometimes obscure--reveal that there can be no "conventional or single notion of 'the Indian.' " Indispensable for any library that wishes to have the most current versions of Native American verbal and musical art.- Frank Allen, West Virginia State Coll., Institute
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