Title

Book Review. Memory and Vision: Arts, Cultures, and Lives of Plains Indian People by Emma Hansen

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

2009

Abstract

The story of the Native peoples of the Great Plains--including the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Lakota, Shoshone, Blackfeet, Kiowa, Pawnee, Arikara, Gros Ventre, Assiniboine, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Crow tribes-- is integral to the history and heritage of the American West. These buffalo-hunting and horticultural people once dominated the vast open region of the Great Plains, west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains, that stretches from present-day Canada to Texas.

The Native people of the Plains found this vast, harsh land rich in resources, with tall grass prairies abundant with herds of buffalo and other grazing animals and fertile river valleys that supported farming. Economic practices were intertwined with spiritual ceremonial activities and core beliefs about the people's relationships to the land, sky, and universe. The magnificent arts of Plains Indian people also had such spiritual underpinnings, which, together with their historical and cultural contexts, can provide greater insight into and appreciation of their tribal significances. Lavishly illustrated with more than 300 images of objects from traditional feather bonnets to war shirts, bear claw necklaces, pipe tomahawks, beadwork, and quillwork, as well as archival photographs of historical events and individuals and photographs of contemporary Native life, Memory and Vision is a comprehensive examination of the environments and historic forces that forged these cultures, and a celebration of their ongoing presence in our national society.

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