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Samish News

Spring 2021

by Cheryl Chatt, Samish Library Assistant | Nov 04, 2021

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the spring edition of Reader’s Window.  

I’ve been doing some thinking about all that we’ve been through as a nation and as a tribe this past year and it felt like a good time to lighten things up with a couple of inspiring book recommendations. It seems like with the coming of spring and with the days becoming lighter, now would be a good time to share these titles with you, which I hope are uplifting! Here we go with two of my favorite picks.

Librarian’s Pick #1 is S’abadeb: The Gifts—Pacific Coast Salish Art and Artists. This book “traces the historic, cultural, and social context of Salish art from prehistory to the present.” S’abadeb in the Lushootseed language means “gifts” and this book is exactly that. Containing stunning photographs of traditional and noteworthy Coast Salish artifacts as well as works of art by contemporary Coast Salish artists including Susan Point, Roger Fernandes, Bruce Subiyay Miller, and Andy Wilbur Peterson among others, this book demonstrates the rich and enduring legacy of Coast Salish art and shows wonderful examples being produced today by contemporary artists.

Published in 2008 in conjunction with an exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, it was the “first extensive exhibition of the art and culture of the Coast Salish peoples of Washington State and British Columbia.” Thoughtfully written essays throughout this book tie together Coast Salish art as an essential component of Coast Salish culture and offer some amazing and truly timeless insights on this topic.

Interested in further reading about native art? Two books on contemporary art that I highly recommend are Contemporary Art on the Northwest Coast: Salish, Nuu-Chah-Nulth, Makah by Karen and Ralph Norris. This book features stunning photographs of contemporary art produced by Northwest Coast artists: beautiful carvings, baskets, weavings, and other forms of traditional native art produced by contemporary artists provide ample inspiration or just plain admiration.

Another recently acquired title in our library is Understanding Northwest Coast Indigenous Jewelry by Alexander Dawkins. This book is stunningly illustrated as well, with photographs of traditional and contemporary native jewelry, as well as some tips on technique, some history of this art form, and information on individual artists.

Librarian’s Pick #2 is a gem of a book entitled The Wind is My Mother—The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman. This book is uplifting and inspirational! Bear Heart, a Muscogee Creek Native American, combines his training as a medicine man and his graduate studies in psychology to share a message of wisdom incorporating some universal truths for practical applications in one’s daily life. 

From the back cover: “With eloquent simplicity, one of the world’s last Native American medicine men demonstrates how traditional tribal wisdom can help us maintain spiritual and physical health in today’s world. Throughout inspiring stories and examples from his own life, he teaches us how to live.”

My hours in the Samish Indian Nation Library are from 9:00 -1:00 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. As always, I look forward to serving you and sharing these and many other titles with you.

As spring arrives and the days become lighter, I wish all of you good health and joy.

Take care, be well, and thank you for reading!

 

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