Cover image for Enduring wisdom : sayings from Native Americans
Enduring wisdom : sayings from Native Americans
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, c2003.
Physical Description:
32 p. : col. ill. ; 26 cm.
A collection of quotations from American Indians throughout the continent dated from the earliest contact with Europeans to contemporary tribal persons.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book Q J 970.00497 END 1 1

On Order



Sayings from Native Americans. Quotations from their earliest contact with Europeans to contemporary tribal persons.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-These documented expressions "spoken in prayer, in song, in orations, or in conversations" include the ancient wisdom and present-day counsel of a number of tribes. Boldly hued, plainly defined illustrations complement the spare, reflective language. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Organized into five sections, Enduring Wisdom: Sayings from Native Americans, ed. by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, illus. by Synthia Saint James, presents quotes from various North American tribes. A Sioux Medicine Man's poem (1972) describes how a meaty pot of soup represents the essential elements of life; a 1940 Cree hunter explains why he does not kill "for killing's sake"; a Nachez mother in 1729 instructs her son, a chief. A foreword by the editor explains that, since Native Americans had no written language "until long after white people were well established in America," these quotes were spoken in prayer, song or conversation, and in this way passed down through the generations. Abstract patterns illustrate the soup poem; bold geometric shapes represent the hunter, while tiny brushstrokes indicate feathers on his bow and leaves on the trees. A handsome, inspiring volume. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

Quotations from many centuries and many tribal groups are gathered in thematic sections entitled Mother Earth, The People, War and Peace, Spirit Life, and Enduring Wisdom. The endnotes give sources for the quotations. The familiar faceless abstract forms of the illustrator's paintings are powerful but sterile in their elimination of specific cultural detail. From HORN BOOK Fall 2003, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Sneve, whose Dancing Tepees (1989) has reached the status of a classic, has here selected 34 wise quotations from various Native-American sources. Although a majority of the selections are from the oral tradition or from historical sources, Sneve does include quotes from contemporary ones, including Wilma Mankiller (1993), a Hopi man remembering his youth (1940), and a Laguna Pueblo author (1996). The quotes range from the profound to the reflective and promise to engage the reader, but potential energy seems to be neutralized by the boldly colored, but flat, stylized illustrations--illustrations devoid of any expression. Saint James's (To Dinner, for Dinner, 2000, etc.) illustrations utilize strong, simple shapes and faceless figures. Each piece is an acceptable piece of art but, as a group, the illustrations do little to complement or enhance the emotions, meaning, and vitality that are inherent in the words presented. The satisfying text is not quite enough to redeem the overall package. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-6. From Iroquois chief Kiosaaton in 1647 to contemporary Laguna Pueblo author Leslie Marmon Silko, this collection of brief, wise sayings from Indians of many nations speaks of enduring values, including respect for land and tradition and openness to other cultures: "Think like Indians, / be like Indians, / but learn English," says Miccosukee leader, Buffalo Tiger. Some individuals speak of their loss when "strangers came to the land." Sneve points out in her introduction that many sayings were in prayers, songs, speeches, or conversations, and they have been handed down orally through the generations. The picture-book design is open, with one or two quotes on a page, and Saint James' bright, handsome paintings in her signature, elemental collage celebrate the rich, diverse traditions as well as children today reading in school. The format is highly accessible, but many children will want to know more about the stories behind the quotes. Fortunately, brief bylines as well as useful endnotes provide snippets of context, history, and bibliography that open the way. Hazel Rochman