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Power by Linda Hogan
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Power (1998)

by Linda Hogan

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http://r-for-rocket.blogspot.com/2016/03/power.html

Set in Florida swamps and forests, this is a coming-of-age novel about Omishto, a teen girl belonging to the fictional Taiga tribe, finding herself in a world where the old ways of the Panther people are becoming extinct (right along the panthers and tribe themselves). She prefers spending her time with her kinswoman Ama, who is in touch with the older, sacred ways as opposed to being at home with her Westernized mother and abusive stepfather. When after a brutal storm Omishto sees Ama killing one of the endangered panthers sacred to their tribe she must come to terms with both what the act meant for Ama and how the event redefines her life.

This is a very beautifully written novel with lots of lovely descriptive passages but it’s definitely more largely concerned with Omishto’s introspection than plot -- the small bit of action really just sets the background to her inner landscape. These sort of deeply introverted stories aren’t always for me so this took me a couple weeks to get through but I did love the poetic language. According to the back of my copy, the author Linda Hogan is a Chickasaw poet and I’d love to read some of her writing in this format someday. ( )
  parasolofdoom | Mar 22, 2016 |
16-year-old Omishto, one of only 30 Taiga Indians remaining, joins with her friend, Ama, a reclusive, strong Taiga woman who is considerably older. After a hurricane Ama tracks and kills a panther; Omishto follows along. Of course, she is tried by the federal game wardens for killing the endangered cat. But more importantlyk, she is tried by the tribal elders for disobeying tribal law in killing the sacred symbol of the Panther Clan without their permission, and the appropriate ceremonies.

16-year-old Omishto, one of only 30 Taiga Indians remaining, joins with her friend, Ama, a reclusive, strong Taiga woman who is considerably older. After a hurricane Ama tracks and kills a panther; Omishto follows along. Of course, she is tried by the federal game wardens for killing the endangered cat. But more importantly, she is tried by the tribal elders for disobeying tribal law in killing the sacred symbol of the Panther Clan without their permission, and the appropriate ceremonies.

The book is full of mysticism. The language is beautiful and graceful.

But I was left with many questions. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 26, 2016 |
Full of powerful images--I wanted to copy so many, to be sure to remember them, for inspiration, strength, knowledge of the right way to live, that there are still people who believe we are not here to dominate but to live in relationship with the life around us. Yes, Hogan also writes poems, but every book of hers I've read comes from a core of inner strength. A quote for us aging hippies: "...but they are the children of those who were alive from the deaths of others and so I do not look at them even though they are right..." --easier to hear it this way, than in the words Winona LaDuke used ([recovering the sacred] see that review). Here's a lesson quote "She is always in a hurry. Ama calls it time sickness, a disease of this time and world. Everyone missing life in their hurrying. But maybe the world exists in layers and all time is here at once; I am my ancestors, and they foresaw me."
Or, think of all the wisdom in this "Maybe Ama is no different from any woman or man in any people's history, I think. And if she is capable of such things, then I am too, in this lengthening light, the last slivers of day, this passing time where the no-name birds fly over, the birds Ama said are just birds, just themselves, not names, but birds whole and delicate and alive."
There are pages full of teachings. Listen to them: "Back in the days of the first people, the beginning of wind was the first breathing of one of the turbulent Gods, they say. ...Oni, first and foremost is the word for wind and air. It is a power every bit as strong as gravity, as strong as a sun you can't look at but know is there. It tells a story. Through air, words and voices are carried. Usually it is invisible. Only today I can see it. It is moving shadows. Its hands are laid down on every living thing. The plants that create it are held inside it and moved by it. In the presence of air, every living thing is moved. It is greatness, they say. Like other Gods, it is everywhere at once....." ( )
  juniperSun | Mar 11, 2011 |
From Booklist
Hogan has examined the brutal overlay of white society on Native American culture in her previous books, including her last novel, Solar Storms (1995), but none have caught fire as gloriously as this enthralling tale of a young Taiga woman's struggle to come to terms with her heritage. Omishto, the One Who Watches, is 16 when she is drawn into her tribe's seemingly losing battle to survive, a conflict integrally linked to the destruction of the Florida wilderness with which they are so intimately connected. Just one woman, Ama, who is still in possession of the old powers and to whom Omishto is inextricably drawn, overtly combats the forces that have made her people as endangered a species as the panther, the Taiga's sacred ancestor, now under the protection of the government. Her desperate act, the killing of one of these revered creatures, outrages and confounds everyone. As Omishto, her unwitting accomplice, attempts to understand her mentor and cope with the ensuing trial, Hogan, who is absolutely magnificent in one radiantly dramatic scene after another, compels us to consider all the forms power takes and how foolishly we abuse it. Donna Seaman
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  CollegeReading | Sep 12, 2008 |
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Mystery is a form of power
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For the Florida Panther
May their kind survive.
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This is te place where clouds are born and I am floating.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393319687, Paperback)

In this coming-of-age story, a 16-year-old Native American girl named Omishito (a Tiaga name meaning One Who Watches) inadvertently witnesses the hunting and killing of her clan's sacred animal, the Florida panther. What makes this especially troubling and complicated for Omishito is that her beloved spiritual mentor, Ama, is the panther's murderer. At first, Omishito cannot fathom why Ama, a tribal elder who still practices the old powers, would commit this sacrilege and risk the wrath of her tribe and country. (Unlike the Tiaga tribe, the Florida panther is considered endangered and therefore federally protected.) Through seamless storytelling and expert scene building, Linda Hogan reveals the many-layered mysteries inherent in this novel (based on a true story) as well as the powerful forces that endanger Native Americans and the survival of their spirituality. --Gail Hudson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:37 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In Florida, an Indian girl is torn between loyalty to her Westernized mother, advising her to reject the ways of her tribe, and an aunt who supports tradition. The conflict is played out in the course of a hunt for a tiger.

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