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The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  442 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
This pioneering work, first published in 1986, documents the continuing vitality of American Indian traditions and the crucial role of women in those traditions.
Paperback, 311 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Beacon Press (first published 1986)
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Though she sometimes succumbs to generalizations and risks merely substituting the dominance of one gender over the other in her theorization of matriarchal American Indian cultures, Paula Gunn Allen provides some really interesting ideas about the differences between American Indian literature and western literature as well as some useful analysis of major American Indian authors.

"The Sacred Hoop" provides the most insight into American Indian thought. Allen here argues, for instance, that “In
Miguel Amaya
Apr 03, 2016 Miguel Amaya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, I miss her. Dearly. Anyone who knew Paula (at UCLA, UC Berkeley) knew what a wonderful
scholar she was. You don't stay at UCB or UCLA for long with under-performance.

She did plenty of research for this text and it held up fairly well in its category. I'm somewhat disappointed that reviews don't bring up the fact that this text fills in many gaps that exist about Keres Pueblo groups and others. Even Vine Deloria grudgingly acknowledged its importance.

I once heard Paula share how hard i
Michelle Boyer
A good collection of discussions about American Indian women and their significance in American Indian traditions. Often, there are moments where this is presented as pan-Indian culture, but at other times there are moments where they attempt to be tribally specific. It works either way, but I wish there was more clarify about how this was going to be portrayed. Perhaps putting "pan-Indian" discussions in one half, "tribally specific" in another half. I'm not sure, but the formatting could have ...more
Cécilia L.
May 02, 2015 Cécilia L. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: native-americans
Very inspiring and beautiful, but at times, the arguments are layered with too much mysticism to be taken as sociological/ethnological facts.

Read as part of my corpus for a thesis.
Jul 18, 2009 aloveiz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paula Gunn Allen is really a great and notable scholar. I am endlessly pleased with her essays. I have consistently found them to be encompassing, original and acute. It seems that she can write from all sides of the fence in the tesseract dimension of emotional identities.
Her impact is especially well executed through the subjects she chooses to address. Writing to a target audience of english teachers about how to teach literature that integrates native american art and the philosophical envir
Deb Owens
Aug 26, 2008 Deb Owens rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: serious students of Native American cultures or feminism
Recommended to Deb by: O magazine
I used this book as a resource in my Field Project for college. It is a collection of writings by Gunn and other authors. As such, I found some articles more interesting/useful than others. Generally, the book describes the important role women in Native American cultures pre-contact with Europeans. A few articles describe the impact that reaches into problems with today's Native American cultures. Definitely not a light read.
Feb 06, 2008 Ciara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-ve-read
This book was pretty dissappointing to me. I was looking for a book that celebrated womanhood about Native Americans, with teachings and essays on the subject. But it's really dry, and deals more with modern issues specific to Indian women, and wasn't of much interest to me.
Jul 15, 2012 Nanu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indigenous
She makes some very good points regarding the stereotyping that exists even among the indigenous peoples themselves... A very interesting read.
Nancy Rossman
It's not that I hated it. Again, I didn't finish this one. The problem is that it is way beyond my spiritual being, and that is what it is about.
Oct 14, 2013 Elizabeth rated it did not like it
Shelves: bought-2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2008 Sueb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just heard she died
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Paula Gunn Allen was a Native American poet, literary critic, lesbian activist, and novelist.

Born Paula Marie Francis in Albuquerque, Allen grew up in Cubero, New Mexico, a Spanish-Mexican land grant village bordering the Laguna Pueblo reservation. Of mixed Laguna, Sioux, Scottish, and Lebanese-American descent, Allen always identified most closely with the people among whom she spent her childhoo
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