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Life Among the Lake Superior Ojibway
by Johann Georg Kohl
Recommended by Tamarack Song

      This classic 1855 book on the Ojibway of Lake Superior is a fascinating study in contrasts and similarities. Its author was an urban, well-traveled European, a trained ethnologist, and an accomplished popular writer. Kohl turned his sensitive powers of observation on a nation of people he found not unlike his own. Perceptively and elegantly, he describes daily life among the Ojibway, detailing religious practices, legends, foods, games, medicines, homes, clothing, and methods of travel, hunting, and fishing. Kohl's gentle humor and candor, and his respect for the Ojibway people, anticipate later developments in American ethnology and make his writing especially appealing to the modern reader.

      This Borealis edition of Kitchi-Gami includes a new introduction by Robert E. Bieder, who sketches Kohl's career and explains how Kohl's German background contributed to the unique insights that characterized his work. A new appendix includes five stories of Menaboju, the legendary Ojibway trickster, originally published in the German edition of 1859 but unavailable in English until now. Paperback. 521 pages. Minnesota Historical Society Press.1985. ISBN: 0873511727.

Kitchi-Gami: Life Among the Lake Superior Ojibway    $14.00    Quantity:

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Night Flying Woman
An Ojibway Narrative
by Ignatia Broker
Recommended by Tamarack Song

      With the art of practiced storyteller, Ignatia Broker recounts the life of her great-great-grandmother, Night Flying Woman, who was born in the the mid-nineteenth century and lived during a chaotic time of enormous change, uprooting, and loss for Minnesota's Ojibway. But this story also tells of her people's great strength and continuity.

      Ignatia Broker, who died in 1987, was a storyteller and teacher in the Ojibway tradition. In 1984 she recieved a Wonder Woman Foundation award honoring her as a woman striving for peace and equality. From the text: "I...will search my memory and tell what I know. I, myself, shall tell you what I have heard my grandmother tell and I shall try to speak in the way she did and use the words that were hers." Paperback. 135 pages. Minnesota Historical Society Press. 1983. ISBN: 0873511670.

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The Mishomis Book
The Voice of the Ojibway
by Edward Benton-Banai
Recommended by Tamarack Song

      Mishomis is the Ojibway word for grandfather. This is one of those very rare books that makes you feel as though you are listening to a wise elder. Includes the creation story, the origin of sacred plants, and a wealth of information on Native values and culture.

      Edward Benton Banai is the Ojibway teacher and spiritual leader who founded the Red School House, an alternative school for Native students in St. Paul, Minnesota. His goal in writing The Mishomis Book was to provide students with an accurate account of Ojibway culture, history, and worldview based on the oral teachings.

      The book begins with the Ojibway creation story and how first man came to earth. The fifteen chapters cover the traditional teachings about the acquisition of fire and tools, the creation and meaning of the clan system, the migration of the Ojibway people from the Atlantic Coast to their present locations in Canada and the United States. The final chapter describes more resent history. Throughout the book, the author includes the use of Ojibway words and their meanings, as well as helpful maps and illustrations. Other major topics covered include the four directions, the pipe, the Midewiwin and Sweat Lodge, the Seven Fires prophesy, and the Seven Grandfathers Teaching, values and beliefs, and the role of Elders. Oversize paperback, illustrated. 114 pages. Red School House / Indian Country Communications 1988.

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The Manitous
The Spiritual World of the Ojibway
by Basil Johnson
Recommended by Tamarack Song

      From the strong oral culture of his own Ojibway Indian heritage, Basil Johnson presents the first collection by a Native American scholar of legends and tales depicting manitous, mystical beings who are divine and essential forces in the spiritual life of his people. These lively, sometimes earthy stories teach about manitous who lived in human form among the Ojibway in the early days, after Kitchi-Manitou (the Great Mystery) created all things and Muzzu-Kummik-Quae (Mother Earth) revealed the natural order of the world. With depth and humor, Johnson tells how lasting tradition was brought to the Ojibway by four half-human brothers, including Nana'b'oozoo (the beloved archetypal being who means well but often blunders), and how people are helped and hindered by other entities such as the manitous of the forests and meadows, personal manitous and totems, mermen and merwomen, Pauguk (the cursed Flying Skeleton) and the Weendigoes, famed and terrifying giant cannibals.

      About the author: Basil Johnson is an Ojibway scholar who lives in Ontario, Canada, on the Cape Croker Indian Reserve, where he spent part of his childhood. A recipient of the order of Ontario and an honorary doctorate from the University of Toronto, he speaks and writed in both Ojibway and English, and is the author of numerous books, including Indian School Days, Ojibway Ceremonies, Ojibway Heritage, Ojibway Tales, The Bear-Walker and Other Stories, Mermaids and Medicine Women: Native Myths and Legends, and Crazy Dave. As he writes in this book, "The manitous were just as much a reality as were trees, valleys, hills, and winds." Paperback. 271 pages. Minnesota Historical Society Press.2001. ISBN: 0873514114.

The Manitous: The Spiritual World of the Ojibway    $18.00    Quantity:

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A Dictionary of the Ojibway Language
by Frederic Baraga
Recommended by Tamarack Song

      It is said that one must know a Native language to know the Native Way. This text, first published 150 years ago, provides thorough coverage of the Native tongue spoken over the greatest area of the continent. The book includes English-Ojibway and Ojlbway-English sections. Also useful for Potawotamie, Ottawa, Cree. and other closely related Algonquian dialects.

      Frederic Baraga (1797-1868), a priest from Slovenia, lived as a missionary among the Ojibway around Lake Superior. Baraga, with a talent for languages, quickly learned Ojibway and worked within the community to produce the phonetic spellings recorded for this dictionary. Paperback. 422 pages. Minnesota Historical Society Press. 1992. ISBN: 0873512812.

A Dictionary of the Ojibway Language    $25.00    Quantity:

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A Concise Dictionary of Minnesota Ojibwe
by John D. Nichols & Earl Nyholm
Recommended by Tamarack Song

      The most up-to-date complement to Baraga's classic work (above); A Concise Dictionary of Minnesota Ojibwe contains 7,000 of the most frequently used words, both ancient and 20th century additions. Presented in Ojibwe-English and English-Ojibwe sections, this dictionary spells words to reflect their actual pronunciations with a direct match between the letters used and the speech sounds of Ojibwe. Included are many ancient words and meanings as well as language added in the twentieth century. It is an essential reference for all students of Ojibwe culture, history, language and literature. Paperback, 288 pages. University of Minnesota Press. 1995. ISBN: 0816624283.

A Concise Dictionary of Minnesota Ojibwe    $17.00    Quantity:


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