"What a wonderful surprise this book is! With fabulous illustrations and insightful text, Spirits of the Air explores the deep connections between Native Americans of the South and the rich bird life that was so much a part of their environment and lives. For birders, the book provides a thought-provoking opportunity to move beyond identification and ponder our deeper and more universal relationship to these beautiful creatures that we so love and seek out."
—Don and Lillian Stokes, authors of Stokes Field Guide to Birds
Krech, a renowned authority on Native American interactions with nature, reveals as never before the omnipresence of birds in Native American life. From the time of the earliest known renderings of winged creatures in stone and earthworks through the nineteenth century, when Native southerners took part in decimating bird species with highly valued, fashionable plumage, Spirits of the Air examines the complex and changeable influences of birds on the Native American worldview.
We learn of birds for which places and people were named; birds common in iconography and oral traditions; birds important in ritual and healing; and birds feared for their links to witches and other malevolent forces. Still other birds had no meaning for Native Americans. Krech shows us these invisible animals too, enriching our understanding of both the Indian-bird dynamic and the incredible diversity of winged life once found in the South. A crowning work drawing on Krech's distinguished career in anthropology and natural history, Spirits of the Air recovers vanished worlds and shows us our own anew.
List price: $46.95
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