Front Cover
HarperCollins, 1983 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 191 pages
The only up-to-date anthology of traditional American poetry, The sacred Oath emphasizes the relationship between the life of the individual and the power of the spoken word. Arranged as the progression of a human life, beginning with chants to ease the labor of an expectant mother, the selections narrate a journey through birth and infancy puberty adulthood, and old age.

The underlying belief, shared by native American cultures as different as the Cherokee and the Aztec, that language, like the forces of nature, can bring about change. If uttered at the proper moment and in proper combinations, words can ward off disease, control the movements of a loved one, exorcise a ghost and in short, enable the user to deal with the crises that arise at each stage of life.The Sacred Path is a powerful introduction to an increasingly important field of American literature.

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About the author (1983)

John Bierhorst's many books on Latin American folklore & mythology include "The Mythology of South America", "The Mythology of Norther America" & "The Mythology of Mexico & Central America". A specialist in the language & literature of the Aztecs, he is the author of a Nahuatal-English dictionary & the translator of Cantares Mexicanos. He served as editorial advisor for the Smithsonian Series of Studies in Native American Literature; editorial associate for The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces; & editorial consultant for the Encyclopedia of North American Indians. He lives in West Shokan, New York.

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