Wearing the Morning Star: Native American Song-Poems

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Brian Swann
U of Nebraska Press, Aug 30, 2005 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 180 pages
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With Wearing the Morning Star, Brian Swann presents a collection of more than one hundred Native American songs that celebrate the rich and vibrant oral traditions of the Indigenous peoples of North America. These are songs of the earth and the sky, songs of mourning and of love, parts of ceremonies and rites and rituals. Some have familiar themes; others illuminate the complexities and differences of the Native cultures. The collection includes songs of derision and threat, ribald songs, hunting chants, and a song sung by an Inuit about the first airplane he ever saw. Swann has provided an authoritative introduction and notes for each selection that place the songs in their cultural contexts. He has reworked the original translations where appropriate to allow the modern reader to appreciate and enjoy these remarkable works and provides a new preface for this Bison Books edition.
 

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Wearing the morning star: Native American song-poems

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The first Europeans paid little mind to the song, dances, and ceremonies of the Native Americans, dismissing them as the noises of "demons and the damned" and "the cries and howling of wolves." It was ... Read full review

Contents

Shamans Song
3
To Help Make the Afterbirth Come Out
18
Love Song 131
31
CONTENTS
33
A Boys Song
39
Ojibwe Cradle Song
45
The Yellow Star
51
Creek Drunken Dance
59
San Juan Basket Dance
83
They Went to the Moon Mother
93
Prayer of the First Dancers
99
The Making of the Game Animals
105
CONTENTS
109
Song for a Baby Carrier
123
Muscogean Charm Song 57
150
How Changing Woman Was Picked Up 109
169

from The Sending
65
The Deserted Woman
71
Luiseno Songs of the Seasons
77
Permissions Acknowledgments
179
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Brian Swann is on the faculty of humanities and social sciences at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He recently edited Voices from Four Directions: Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures of North America and Algonquian Spirit: Contemporary Translations of the Algonquian Literatures of North America, both available from the University of Nebraska Press.

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