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Wisdom of the Native Americans

4.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  426 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
The teachings of the Native Americans provide a connection with the land, the environment, and the simple beauties of life. This collection of writings from revered Native Americans offers timeless, meaningful lessons on living and learning.

Taken from writings, orations, and recorded observations of life, this book selects the best of Native American wisdom and distills i
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Published February 1st 2010 by New World Library (first published April 1994)
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Sep 07, 2015 Temple rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the best book...filled with wisdom that never grows old. What a different society this would be, had we followed the native American ways. "Silence is the mother of truth, for the silent man was ever to be trusted, while the man ever ready with speech was never taken seriously." - Chief Luther Standing Bear - Teton Sioux. "You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts." - Cochise (I would give this book many more stars than are available!)
Natacha Pavlov
This was a very quick, enlightening read. I’m glad I chose to read it before starting on Mayflower/Thanksgiving-related material as it truly sheds a lot of light upon the cultural differences between the Natives and Europeans. It’s also helped me to see—when reading Western accounts of events—the areas where the Europeans misunderstood/lacked the understanding of the cultural differences which likely could’ve prevented feuds on both sides.

The sayings of Ohiyesa (Sioux), Chief Red Jacket (Seneca
Dec 25, 2013 Sydney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This arouses so many questions and so much sadness in me...
Jun 28, 2014 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easy on the heart
Randy Daugherty
Apr 23, 2013 Randy Daugherty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Wisdom of the Native Americans Kent Nerburn tells the story of Native Americans through their speeches and teachings. We often speak of great orators of the past Plato, Socrates, Thomas Jefferson, the list goes on.
The Natives had just as great speakers as well though simply stated their words bore a truth and understanding of those who lived close to nature and the world around them.Often much was said by their silence as by words, teaching by actions as well as their words and stories.
So much of this I found myself agreeing with - the way of life, the connection with nature - You know what. Let's start over. That's a lame way of saying that.

As I read this book there was this tugging within me of recognition, like I understood what they were talking about, like I was a part of it. I know I don't have much Algonquin in me and very little claim to this land that I live on, but I can still feel that tug of my blood saying, "Yes. This. These words."

Everywhere, all over the world,
May 27, 2011 D.E. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading the actual words of these great Native American leaders and thinkers. The beauty of their expression coupled with the simplicity of the truths they express left me speechless. If only we had minds like this helping guide our country today - how very different things would be. Now we live in a plastic, make-believe world invented by public relations firms, who cheapen everything they get their hands on (or almost everything). Kids are raised by the pop culture, not by real, deep t ...more
Kyle  Plunkett
Dec 20, 2014 Kyle Plunkett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very great book on Native Americans. It's a masterpiece.
Nov 15, 2015 Jacquline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2013 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: informational
An interesting read, complete with various quotes, lessons on the "soul" of an Indian, and the speeches of three great chiefs, Red Jacket, Joseph, and Seattle. Loved the quotes and the speeches especially. Some of the information regarding the soul of the Indian, well .... Some is good and, I believe, accurate. For example, there's a section regarding education and the following passage, "We taught our children by both example and instruction, but with emphasis on example, because all learning i ...more
Oct 19, 2008 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As an introduction to the beliefs, thoughts, and lives of Native Americans, this book is out of the park.

It is a collection of quotes and speeches sewn together by Kent Nerburn in three pieces that give you an understanding of America’s first people: The Ways of the Native Americans, the Soul of an Indian and the Wisdom of the Great Chiefs.

The Ways of the Native Americans are mostly quotes and snippets of speeches that let you see what the Native Americans thought of life, dying, the land, the
There is a lot to be said here. You get out of books what you put into them. The more experience you have and the more you read the easier it is to learn and enjoy a good book or good ideas. This applies to music, philosophy, cooking, wine & beer etc. So these are thoughts this book bubbles to mind.
This book provided for some interesting thinking, so here I am giving it 4 stars.

This book is comprised of three sections. The first contains quotes from American natives (primarily male) that are
Find here the true meaning of the saying " It is a good day to die" and feel the energy of "I will fight no more forever!". If you are expecting "Me get um fire water from white man with forked toungue" you are going to be in for the shock of your life. Many of the grest chiefs were multi-lingual and the eloquence with wich they spoke, their narratives, were amazing. This is a must read for anyone interested in Native Americans or who is a fan of westerns.
Nathan Tenney
Jan 23, 2015 Nathan Tenney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is one of the best books I have ever read. It made me think of nature, family, war, and suffering in new perspectives I found priceless. The anecdotes, speeches, and writings are compiled smoothly and cover each topic in depth. I have learned many lessons from this book about history and the Native American people. I have actually become ashamed of my own ancestors for the unfairness and suffering they have inflicted upon the Native American people. This book is a great lesson of history wh ...more
Dec 04, 2014 Bobby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is an excellent little introduction / anthology of some thoughts of the Native American people. The first section consists of misc. quotes / bits of wisdom from many sources. The second section consists of thoughts on many subjects from one man, Ohiyesa. The third part consists of speeches by three men: Chiefs Red Jacket, Joseph, and Seattle. The different layouts of the three section works - it gives different perspectives, some more in-depth than others, of the Native American plight ...more
Feb 19, 2014 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really got me thinking about how we, the settlers, destroyed this great civilization of native people, and how we are currently destroying the land - the land they loved and cherished, that we use and discard. Loved the full speeches by the great chiefs at the end, super powerful - especially Chief Seattle's. I wish I had the oratory skills of those guys...
Jul 21, 2009 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book containing great wisdom. The average rating is by no means a reflection of the actual content, but rather the organization of the book itself. It is too brief in sections and I was hoping for some background on many of the quotes. It does have good historical context for some of their lengthier sections in the back that contain the full text of some famous speeches offered by Native Chiefs such as Chief Joseph. His speech alone is nearly worth the price of the book. Fortunately, this i ...more
Sherri Anderson
I think the book should have been expanded but the material was good. I really liked the parts on Chief Joseph.
Victoria Nicholson
Worthy read. Please indulge in this essential wisdom.
May 18, 2014 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great little book.
Feb 02, 2014 Xzs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Insightful, quick read. Worth reading again.
Aug 12, 2014 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a great deal to be learned from the elders & this book has been a wonderful read. I'd recommend it to anyone who is interested in Native American culture.
Jul 17, 2012 Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I keep by my bedside.
I dip in and out of it throughout the year and will no doubt continue to do so for always.
You don't have to think everything said by a Native American is wise and wonderful - of course it's not - they are only human after all - but there are so many ways that the modern world is forgetting that it would do us good to revisit and remember.
It's not rocket science but somehow so many seem to find it such a complicated message to understand.
Aug 27, 2014 Rocco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book! The Native American's way of life feels incredibly right, while our way of life feels incredibly wrong! The truth in this book is hard to disagree with...
Don Whitson
Jun 12, 2014 Don Whitson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book. The other side of the story that we are not taught.
I couldn't put this down. Various quotes, speeches, and the writings of Ohiyesa are all included in this book, and it makes a great pick-me-up when I feel like my life is lacking conventional wisdom - I can choose a quote or a speech and feel revivified after a couple of minutes. This is one to keep on the nightstand, or on the coffee table.
Oct 18, 2013 Lejla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking and very interesting but to me native Americans are always full of life and they're fighters to me, I've always loved their culture and quite frankly this book was boring- full of wisdom but boring I can't say I disliked it but I didn't "LOVE" it.
Dec 16, 2013 Frodo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To read the actual words of the Native
Americans going through the decimation of much of their culture and people during the expansion of white settlements across the continent is both sobering and enlightening. Highly readable and important to be shared.
Uncle Cornbread
Nov 11, 2009 Uncle Cornbread rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is as close to how I beleive as i can describe,,although,,I live in the modern world,,,I love the quote ,,I have come to the conclusion that this Jesus was an indian,,uknown person,, page130
Mar 09, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having never read anything by Ohiyesa and his advocacy for native American ways or any of the other great chiefs, this proved to be enlightening, dramatic, extremely sad and insightful.
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“Our young people, raised under the old rules of courtesy, never indulged in the present habit of talking incessantly and all at the same time. To do so would have been not only impolite, but foolish; for poise, so much admired as a social grace, could not be accompanied by restlessness. Pauses were acknowledged gracefully and did not cause lack of ease or embarrassment.” 2 likes
“Once I was in Victoria, and I saw a very large house. They told me it was a bank, and that the white men place their money there to be taken care of, and that by and by they got it back, with interest. We are Indians, and we have no such bank; but when we have plenty of money or blankets, we give them away to other chiefs and people, and by and by they return them, with interest, and our hearts feel good. Our way of giving is our bank. — Maquinna Nootka Chief” 0 likes
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