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Indian Child Life

Charles Alexander Eastman

Book Overview: 

The author was raised as an American Indian and describes what it was like to be an Indian boy (the first 7 chapters) and an Indian Girl (the last 7 chapters). This is very different from the slanted way the white man tried to picture them as 'savages' and 'brutes.'

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .g leisurely among them, axe in hand, and striking a single quick blow, to see if the sap would appear. Trees, like people, have their individual characters; some were ready to yield up their life-blood, while others were more reluctant. Now one of the birchen basins was set under each tree, and a hardwood chip driven deep into the cut which the axe had made. From the corners of this chip—at first drop by drop, then, more freely—the sap trickled into the little dishes.

It is usual to make sugar from maples, but several other trees were also tapped by the Indians. From the birch and ash was made a dark-colored sugar, with a somewhat bitter taste, which was used for medicinal purposes. The box-elder yielded a beautiful white sugar, whose only fault was that there was never enough of it!

A long fire was now made in the sugar house, and a row of brass kettles suspended over the blaze. The sap was collected by the women in tin or birchen buckets and poured. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I find Charles Eastman's books fascinating - I just love the insight they give us into traditional Indian culture.