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Showing posts from October, 2017

Journeying with an Indian elder

A phone call from an unknown Native American woman precipitated the author (and sculptor), Kent Nerburn into a compelling unexpected journey. The woman's grandfather, Dan, had seen a book Nerburn had helped compile where young Native Americans had helped tell the oral histories and stories of their elders. "Would Nerburn," Dan enquired, "help tell his story"?

The answer was yes and in two books - "Neither Wolf nor Dog" and "The Wolf at Twilight" - Nerburn helps illuminate the life of an Indian elder. In doing so, he honours Dan's request neither to paint the portrait of an elder as insuperably wise, given to eloquent speechifying (though he can be) nor the shadow side of contemporary Indian life that of a drunk wastrel living at (and off) the edges of 'civilisation'. Indeed Dan suggests better to be seen as the latter than the former - better to be despised than complacently lauded.  Dan wants to be seen (and heard) whole.

As a …