________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 12 . . . . February 6, 2009

cover Algonquin. (Canadian Aboriginal Art and Culture).

Heather Kissock.
Calgary, AB: Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $11.95 (pbk.), $23.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-431-6 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-430-9 (hc.).

Subject Heading:
Algonquin Indians-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

cover Blackfoot. (Canadian Aboriginal Art and Culture).

Anna Rebus.
Calgary, AB: Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $11.95 (pbk.), $23.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-332-6 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-331-9 (hc.).

Subject Heading:
Siksika Indians-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

cover Huron. (Canadian Aboriginal Art and Culture).

Christine Webster.
Calgary, AB: Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $11.95 (pbk.), $23.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-425-5 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-424-8 (hc.).

Subject Heading:
Wyandot Indians-Juvenile literature. .

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

cover Ktunaxa. (Canadian Aboriginal Art and Culture).

Erinn Banting.
Calgary, AB: Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $11.95 (pbk.), $23.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-429-3 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-428-6 (hc.).

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

cover Sioux. (Canadian Aboriginal Art and Culture).

Anna Rebus.
Calgary, AB: Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $11.95 (pbk.), $23.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-427-9 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-426-2 (hc.).

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

excerpt:

The drum played a key role in Algonquin music. To the Algonquin, the beating of a drum represented the beating of a heart, the source of life. Drumming was held in such high regard that the Algonquin developed several kinds of drums. The grandfather drum was made from a hollow log covered with an animal skin. The grandmother drum consisted of birchbark covered with beaver skin. The man’s drum was made from cedar, with moose sinew as its covering. This drum could be played on both ends. The girl, or rain, drum was filled with water to create a unique sound. (From Algonquin.)

Part of the 14-volume “Canadian Aboriginal Art and Culture” series, these five books provide information about a variety of topics, including homes, clothing, food, tools and weapons, religion, celebrations and ceremonies, music and dance, storytelling and art. Each book also has a timeline, an art activity to try and a recipe for a traditional food from the specific culture. A current-day aboriginal artist is featured in each of the titles as well. The text is written in fairly short sentences and is easy to comprehend. A table of contents, a glossary an index and a list of books and web sites for further research are included. Illustrations consist of a map indicating the area of Canada in which the particular group of people settled, black and white archival photographs, and colour photographs and illustrations, some of which depict life long ago and others, modern times. Though the books contain an adequate amount of information, they are quite short, only 32 pages (including the glossary, index and reading list). Another minor flaw is that the recipes might not be appealing to children, nor would some of the ingredients be readily available in the kitchen (e.g. Saskatoon berries and bitterroot for the bitterroot pudding in Ktunaxa).

     The Algonquin settled in the area known as the Ottawa Valley and were known for their dome-shaped wigwams, bearpaw snowshoes and birchbark canoes. In Algonquin, readers will learn about the importance of drumming to this group of people as well as the bark baskets, body painting and the floral motifs that were popular in their art. The recipe provided is for Paganens, wild nut soup, while the art project is a moose caller, made from heavy paper and meant to resemble the callers, crafted from birchbark, that were used for hunting.

     Comprised of more than 25 clans, the Blackfoot are also known as the Siksika, Kainai and Peigan. In the past, they wore clothing made from tanned elk or bison hide decorated with intricate beading patterns that indicated the wearer’s social status. Blackfoot highlights the powwow, buffalo jumps and the winter count, an animal hide whose painted images depicted important events in the people’s community history. There is a recipe for Blackfoot Fried Yeast Bread. Readers can also document events in their own lives by making a personal winter count using paper or fabric.

     Huron focuses on longhouses, the clan system, wampum belts and the importance of shamans in the community. Known for moosehair embroidery, quillwork and pottery, the Huron people incorporated their designs into wampum belts which recorded their history. This title also features a number of festivals, the most spiritual being Ononharoia. During this festival, a soul cleansing ritual was said to chase away evil spirits so that the village would be free of illness and disease. Readers can try to make a clay pot as an art activity.

     The Ktunaxa people played an important role in the expansion of the fur trade in Alberta and British Columbia. Known for their petroglyphs, ceremonial fans and their unique sturgeon-nose canoes, the Ktunaxa also held the coyote in high esteem, as coyote figured prominently in legends. In Ktunaxa, readers will find out how to play a native tag game and can make a lane stitch beaded choker, reminiscent of the elaborate beadwork of Ktunaxa necklaces.

     The Ktunaxa people played an important role in the expansion of the fur trade in Alberta and British Columbia. Known for their petroglyphs, ceremonial fans and their unique sturgeon-nose canoes, the Ktunaxa also held the coyote in high esteem, as coyote figured prominently in legends. In Ktunaxa, readers will find out how to play a native tag game and can make a lane stitch beaded choker, reminiscent of the elaborate beadwork of Ktunaxa necklaces.

     Perfect for upper elementary students, this series provides just enough information.

Recommended.

Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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