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The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet Native American Poems of The Land
The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet Native American Poems of The Land Author:Joseph Bruchac, Thomas Locker Although they speak hundreds of different languages, the Native peoples of North America all share an awareness that the world around them is very much alive. I remember an Iroquois elder telling me many years ago that everything in nature has its own voice and its own story. Often, those voices and stories cna be found in songs still sung in ... more »honor of the natural world that contemporary Amerians too often ignore - from the tiny mouse reaching up to the sky to the awesome flow of color across the heavens that is the Northern Lights.
Our wonderful story, which is found where I grew up in the northeastern corner of North America, tells how the pattern of stars known by many as the Big Dipper is actually a great bear circling the night. Thinking of what that great bear might see, as the land and the seasons change, was the start of this collection, but the traditional Native American songs and stories that I drew upon are what gave Sky Bear's vision life. I wanted to remind readers that, as Native children have always been taught, there can be as much to see in the living night as in the more familiar light of day.
The Iroquois grandmother who tells these tales is very much like a good friend of mine, Marion Miller, a traditional Seneca storyteller who fascinates children and grown-ups alike with her stories about the stars. I hope that, as I do, you will hear her voice and the gentle voices of the many elders who have shared with us their stories and their songs of a night that is not to be feared.