Glooskap's children; encounters with the Penobscot Indians of Maine

Type
Book
Authors
ISBN 10
0807005185 
ISBN 13
9780807005187 
Category
Unknown  [ Browse Items ]
Publication Year
1973 
Publisher
Beacon Press, United States 
Pages
216 
Tags
 
Abstract
 
Description
Peter Anastas, who describes himself as "an old-fashioned localist of the psyche," has always been interested in Indians - especially the Penobscot Nation of Old Town, Maine. "Glooskap's Children" is the first book on the Penobscot in a generation, and one of few in the recent revival that deals with Indians of the Northeast.

About 400 members of the Penobscot Nation, who with the Passamaquoddies consider themselves "the original owners of Maine," live on Indian Island, one of 147 islands in the Penobscot River - all that is left of their ancestral lands.

In a time of strong Indian nationalism, Anastas was fortunate not only to be welcomed among the Penobscots, but invited to stay as a guest. As a result of what soon grew into warm friendships he was able "to get a sense of what it feels like to be an American Indian, living on a reservation in the midst of a dominant white culture in crisis in the 1970s."

What it's like is recounted in detail in their own words by five articulate, concerned Penobscot Indians in a series of tape recorded narratives the author calls Voices.

And in a series of Documents culled from the annals of white history, legal writings, and newspaper articles, Anastas underscores the earliest traces of still prevailing white racist attitudes toward the Indian, from the Vikings to what he heard and observed on his own journeys to Maine.

White views of the Indian are counterpointed against the Penobscots' views of themselves - their own moralism and interpersonal politics - as the children of Glooskap, their creator and culture-hero, in a lively collection of myths and folktales Anastas has gleaned from out-of-print sources or retold himself.

A fourth major section of the book, Journal, is a selection from a diary Anastas kept of his own observations and impressions among the Penobscots. Unabashedly personal, it dramatizes the author's intense absorption in the Indian experience.

The four kinds of narrative, along with the superbly sensitive photographs of Mark Power, for "a simultaneity of past and present, memory and myth, voice and echo," a mosaic of words and pictures of the world of the Penobscot Indian.
 
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