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Ka∙ha∙si and the Loon: An Eskimo Legend…

Ka∙ha∙si and the Loon: An Eskimo Legend

by Terri Cohlene

Other authors: Charles Reasoner (Illustrator)

Series: Native American Legends

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This is a book about an Eskimo who has always been lazy but then in the end becomes a champion. He saves his people from hunger, bad luck, and disasters. There is a huge tie to mythology in this book because in the end the reader finds out Ka-ha-si is known as the "strong one". I thought that was interesting. I also liked how this multicultural text as about an Eskimo, because to be completely honest this was the first book I've ever read about one and I think it is very important for me to try my very best to touch on every culture possible in my classroom, so I will keep this book in mind when building my library. I also liked the details in illustrations of the Eskimo's clothing. The main idea of this book is to never underestimate the ability of someone. ( )
  jjones58 | Mar 30, 2014 |
A seemingly lazy young man named Ka-Ha-Si turns out to have hidden depths, and a heroic purpose, in this folktale from the Eskimo (Inuit? Yupik?) people of the far north. Sleeping his days away, Ka-Ha-Si arouses the ire of his fellow villagers, who are unaware that he is secretly being trained in strength by a Loon, or that he is the grandson of He-Who-Holds-Up-the-Earth. Emerging from his slumber three times to save his village - once during a time of hunger, when he leads the hunters to a herd of walruses; once in a wrestling match with a giant, when he defeats his rival and upholds the village honor; and once when the village is threatened by moving mountains - he eventually takes his grandfather's place holding the world up.

The fifth of Terri Cohlene's six folkloric adaptations that I have read, all part of the Native American Legends series - the others include: Clamshell Boy, Dancing Drum, Turquoise Boy, and Little Firefly - this title was moderately enjoyable, and didn't irritate me quite as much as some of her others, although I was disappointed to see that (once again!) no mention of source material is made. Where did Cohlene get this story? This is one of the first questions I ask, when opening a folkloric retelling! I'm also a little dubious about the use of the term 'Eskimo,' which I know some people find offensive and misleading. Since Cohlene acknowledges that it is not a term used by the peoples she is discussing, in her factual afterword, but given to them by outsiders, why does she use it in her title? Why not just specify the specific people (Inuit?, Yupik?) from whom the story comes? Or doesn't she know...? ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 6, 2013 |
The story of Ka-Ha-Si tells of a boy who is considered lazy and a bit of joke in the village. He has never learned to hunt and does not help his family. Instead he sleeps all day by a lamp in his family's igloo. One day, a loon comes to visit him and tells him he must come to a special spot every day so he will be ready when his grandfather returns. After several days, the loon comes to tell Ka-Ha-Si that the village is in trouble and he must save them. Amazingly, the boy who only ever slept the day away is able to solve the village's problems with apparent supernatural abilities. Several times this happens; the village is in trouble and Ka-Ha-Si saves the day. The loon continues to guide the boy. One day the loon comes to tell Ka-Ha-Si that the time has come, his grandfather needs him. The boy is swallowed up by the ocean and Ka-Ha-Si takes his grandfather's place as The Strong One, who holds the Earth on his shoulders.

The second half of the book takes a quick look into the history and culture of the Eskimos. This surprise addition is a natural supplement to the story. It is natural that a reader would be curious about the people who created the story they just read. This book provides the opportunity for the reader to explore the world of the Eskimo immediately after sharing a piece of their culture. ( )
  fullerl | Jun 5, 2009 |
Herculean quests, gone to his grandfather is rather sad. M: Was interesting because it was kinda realistic and kinda not.
  dchaves | Jun 19, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terri Cohleneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Reasoner, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0816723591, Paperback)

In this beloved Eskimo legend, an idle sleepyhead becomes the champion who saves his people from famine and disaster.

The Legends of the World opens readers' minds to the diverse cultures of Native America, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and the Americas through enchanting tales passed down through countless generations. Each book in the series features geographical, historical, and cultural information. Illustrated in full color.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:41 -0400)

Retells the legend of Ka-ha-si, who acquires great strength and boldness and uses them to rescue his people in times of peril. Includes information on the customs and lifestyle of the Eskimos.

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