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146 Western American Literature The South Corner of Time: Hopi, Navajo, Papago, Yaqui Tribal Literature. Edited by Larry Evers et al. (Tucson: University of Arizona, 1980. 240 pages, $10.00.) Volume six of Sun Tracks: An American Indian Literary Magazine is graphically arresting from its bold exterior, a simple black cover embellished with a stark black and white mountain sunset, to its equally powerful interior, a two-column format composed of large print text, striking drawings and photographs of native people and southwestern landscapes, an alphabet for each of the four tribal languages, and a map for each reservation. Over the past nine years Sun Tracks has published some fine issues expressing our Native American heritage with works written in English. This present volume restricts itself to four tribes but includes literature that is historic, oral, and written in native languages. Evers’ introductory essay is a shrewd, commonsensical preface for those unacquainted with native literatures. By reminding us of crucial distinctions between our own and native literary traditions, he allows non-native readers to enter more fully into the spirit and intent of each piece, whether it be a Hopi origin story, a Navajo autobiography, a Papago revenge tale, or a Yaqui deer song. Those readers with some experience in any of the lan­ guages of these four tribes will especially appreciate the few selections given side by side in the native language and in English. I find it difficult to overpraise this superb volume. All scholars of southwestern Indians will want it in their personal collections. The selec­ tions for each tribe are judicious, varied, and impressive. They reverberate with authenticity — sometimes humble, other times sublime, but always in tune with native sensibility and perceptions. The cumulative effect of story, fable, poem, song, sketch, and photoessay is deeply affecting to me. It is hard to imagine a more artistically orchestrated graphic and textual presen­ tation of several people’s imaginative worlds. Scholars will not feel slighted here either. At the end of each of the four sections, a number of additional sources of literature for a given tribe is offered for further research. And the volume concludes with a brief bibliographic essay, “Native American Literature: Other Sources,” organized by genre: oral narrative, song, speeches, fiction, autobiography, and poetry. A few general works are also suggested. Although space does not allow demonstration, let me assure those interested in native culture and literature, especially from the Southwest, that this is a collection of rare beauty in its spirit, its form, and its content. To read it is to be touched with the deeply human and spiritual quality of native consciousnesses, the power of vision that transcends the momentary confusions of our own technology-crazed civilization. Here is abundant evi­ dence that the Good Spirit always intended human life to bring forth the full beauty of being. JACK L. DAVIS, University of Idaho ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
p. 146
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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