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The Tree That Rains: The Flood Myth of the…

The Tree That Rains: The Flood Myth of the Huichol Indians of Mexico

by Emery Bernhard

Other authors: Durga Bernhard (Illustrator)

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Watakame was a born worker. From dawn til dusk, he worked in his fields: clearing, planting, weeding. When the trees he chops down keep reappearing the next day, he stays up, and catches the old woman responsible. It is Nakawe, Great-Grandmother Earth, and she warns Watakame that a great flood is coming, because the people have forgotten the gods. Luckily, she shows him how to make a boat out of the fig tree, instructs him to take his little dog, and certain seeds on board with him, and protects the boat during the great flood...

Many cultures around the world have a flood myth - something I find fascinating in and of itself - and this particular one comes from the Huichol, or Wixáritari people of Mexico's Sierra Madre. One of the few indigenous peoples who have not converted to Christinaity, despite centuries of Catholic persecution, and current Evangelical Protestant missionary efforts, the Huichol recite this tale every year, at their Festival of the New Corn and Squash.

I enjoyed the Bernhards' rendition of this tale, but having nothing with which to compare it, am unsure how closely it stuck to the traditional story. The illustrations, done in gouache, were apparently inspired by traditional Huichol yarn paintings and embroidery, and are quite appealing. Still, I found myself wondering how Huichol artists themselves would represent this story, and think I will track down a copy of Watakame's Journey: The Story of the Great Flood and the New World, which is illustrated with Huichol artwork. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Emery Bernhardprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bernhard, DurgaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0823411087, Library Binding)

With the help of Great-Grandmother Earth, Watakame, a hard-working Indian, survives a great flood and begins a new life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:07 -0400)

With the help of Great-Grandmother Earth, Watakame, a hard-working Indian, survives a great flood and begins a new life.

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