Saturday, December 19, 2020

Review of "Wigwam Evenings," by Charles A. Eastman and Elaine Goodale Eastman

 Review of

Wigwam Evenings, by Charles A. Eastman and Elaine Goodale Eastman

Five out of five stars

Aesop’s fables of the Native Americans of the plains

 It is possible to learn a great deal about a culture from reading their folk and fairy tales. This book contains a series of condensed folk stories of the Sioux tribes of the northern plains. They are told by Smoky Day, the school-master of the woods. They feature many animals of the plains and Rocky Mountains, as well as what is called the Great Mystery.

 In the opening, Smoky Day explains how in earlier times the people and animals spoke a common language, since the Great Mystery put a barrier up so they can no longer converse together. In other words, the Sioux version of the Tower of Babel. They are also listed by evenings in the wigwam of  Smoky Day, in a manner similar to the classic 1001 nights. \

 The stories are all short, much like the fables of Aesop. These stories generally also end with a moral, sometimes explicit and other times implicit. For example, the second evening story is called “The Frog and the Crane.” The moral of that story is, “It is not a wise thing to boast too loudly.”

  These are stories that deal with origins of the world and humans, problems that humans have in dealing with the world and human interactions with nature and animals. All told from the perspective of the Sioux, which makes this an excellent book for multicultural studies.

No comments:

Post a Comment