Birds of Algonquin Legend
AUTHOR: Nichols, Robert E.
PUBLISHER: University of Michigan Press
Also available at Amazon.com
For many years before the coming of the Europeans, Algonquin peoples held the northern reaches of the New World. Some called themselves Anishinaubee- "descendants of the first man." They arched across North America like a great bow, from Nova Scotia to the Rockies. Hunter-gatherers as far removed as Potawatomi, Penobscot, and Powhatan, shared a common culture, and their languages and dialects formed a great language family.
Dwelling on the continent with the Algonquins, among teeming hosts of wildlife, were endless legions of birds. These myriad birds occupied an important place in Algonquin society. They provided food, warmth, decoration, their feathers were used to fletch arrows, and their migrations often triggered seasonal activities by the tribes. Some birds were carved on wooden sticks to be used as reminders of verses in ceremonial songs, and individuals often took the name of a bird to be their own. Because of the importance of birds in Algonquin life, legends were created around these birds; this is what Birds of Algonquin Legend is about.
Birds of Algonquin Legend is a book for an adult or young adult reader whose sense of curiosity is piqued and pleased by reading natural history magazines, by visiting the zoo, or by watching Jaques Costeau or David Attenborough. It is a book for the reader who has long been fascinated by the natural and cultural history of North America, and who ponders a pristine New World that once was.
Robert E. Nichols, Jr., is Professor of English, Purdue University, Calumet.
PUBLICATION DATE: 3/1/1996
CATEGORY: Social Science