What has nourished native peoples on this continent since time immemorial, say the editors of this volume, are wellsprings of creativity. "Down at the source," Havasupai singer Dan Hanna assures us, "a spring will always be there." The creative wellspring of American Indian culture is well represented in this anthology, a compilation of stories, songs, poems, and other writings taken from twenty-five years of Sun Tracks: An American Literary Series.
Editors Larry Evers and Ofelia Zepeda have gathered the contributions of nineteen Native Americans in compiling this collection. Some are stories from oral traditions, others are autobiographical writings, and some are songs or poems. But all are contemporary, and all have as a unifying element a strong central theme in Native American writing: home places.
Some of the contributors define the home place as a center of established values, while others speak of its cultural or physical geography. Healing powers are often found at home places. Home is a place to defend against those who would reduce it to insignificance, a place to reclaim, or a place reclaimed but not yet realized. One writer recalls a home that must be pulled from deep beneath the waters of the Columbia River.
By listening to these stories of home places, the reader can gain a new appreciation of the contemporary verbal expressions of Native American communities. Home Places, note the editors, "asks you to listen to Native American signers, storytellers, and writers, and in this way to celebrate the wellsprings of creativity that continue to flow from the home places in Native America."
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