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The Buffalo and the Indians: A Shared…

The Buffalo and the Indians: A Shared Destiny

by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

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This reviewer appreciated Patent’s attempt to fill a gap in historical nonfiction for upper elementary and lower middle students, but was left disappointed on several counts. The first concern is the use in the title and throughout the book of the word Indian to describe the Native American tribes the author references. While use of the term does not automatically condemn the book, a short foreword explaining her rationale could go a long ways towards avoiding cementing the stereotypes and discrimination that Native Americans still face today. The lack of maps and timelines is also a concern, since at the age this book is geared towards, readers are still working on their grasp of historical time (how long ago was 1000 years versus 200 years?) and geography. There were many beautiful and helpful photographs of the natural landscape and reproductions of paintings, but few of the illustrations were linked directly to the text, and often the captions were very brief, even with reference to historical paintings in which Native Americans were actually painted using red paint. The book does contain a good list of sources for further reading and an excellent index. None of the information given was incorrect, it simply could have been better. Additional selection for those looking to build their Native American resource collection. ( )
  LibrarianMaven | Oct 22, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618485708, Hardcover)

Countless herds of majestic buffalo once roamed across the plains and prairies of North America. For at least 10,000 years, the native people hunted the buffalo and depended upon its meat and hide for their survival. But to the Indians, the buffalo was also considered sacred. They saw this abundant, powerful animal as another tribe, one that was closely related to them, and they treated it with great respect and admiration.

Here, an award-winning nonfiction team traces the history of this relationship, from its beginnings in prehistory to the present. Deftly weaving social history and science, Dorothy Hinshaw Patent discusses how European settlers slaughtered the buffalo almost to extinction, breaking the back of Indian cultures. And she shows how today, as Indians are reviving their cultures, they are also restoring buffalo herds to the land. Featuring William Munoz’s stunning full-color photographs, supplemented with paintings by well-known artists, this book is an inspiring tale of a successful conservation effort. Author’s note, suggestions for further reading, index.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:05 -0400)

Provides a review of the bond between Native Americans and buffalo's throughout history and examines how European settlers disrupted nature's balance and nearly caused the extinction of an animal so highly respected by the native tribes.

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