Braiding Sweetgrass

Braiding Sweetgrass

Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

eBook - 2013
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An inspired weaving of indigenous knowledge, plant science, and personal narrative from a distinguished professor of science and a Native American whose previous book, Gathering Moss, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as "the younger brothers of creation." As she explores these themes she circles toward a central argument: the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world. Once we begin to listen for the languages of other beings, we can begin to understand the innumerable life-giving gifts the world provides us and learn to offer our thanks, our care, and our own gifts in return.
Publisher: 2013
ISBN: 9781571318718
Branch Call Number: OverDrive ebook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


From Library Staff

Essays by a Native American botanist combine the perspectives of science and the ecological awareness of indigenous cultures to reveal a path toward healing the rift that grows between people and nature.

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May 12, 2018

An interesting and informative book - part autobiography, part indigenous social history threaded together with some plant science. I enjoyed listening to the author share her story & ideas in bits while walking or drifting off to sleep.

DBRL_ReginaF Apr 26, 2018

I read this book for the Read Harder 2018 Challenge (Task #18 - a book about nature) and i LOVED it! I loved the blend of science and indigenous philosophy. Every line seemed to be a quotable line, but here is one of my favorites - “The land knows you, even when you are lost.”

Jan 30, 2018

It seems of late that I have read many, many books written by indigenous peoples that are heartbreaking. Their stories need to be heard in our world at this time. But Braiding Sweetgrass is a story, although nonfiction, that touches my soul in a completely different way. I came away from reading this book hopeful for the future. I came away from reading this book being more generous, and grateful for the gifts the land gives us. I am reminded to be thankful for all the bounties nature gives us.

P347...’If the bird’s gift is song, then it has a responsibility to greet the day with music. It is the duty of birds to sing and the rest of us receive this song as a gift.… We may not have wings or leaves, but we humans do have words. Language is our gift and our responsibility.’

Nov 25, 2017

This quickly became one of my favorite books. Robin Wall Kimmerer is a scientist who writes with a sensitivity and understanding of nature from an indigenous perspective and that makes all the difference. We do not have enough respect for the land and if we understood the native stories, maybe we would have a newfound appreciation for the earth. There is poetry and music in her writing as well as respect and gratitude.

Oct 06, 2017

I am now in the process of trying to internalize the word reciprocity. Reading this book was like taking a spiritual journey on the natural wonders and care of the earth under the guidance of science. I hope her teachings will remain with me. Thank you!

Aug 09, 2016

I went into a different state when reading this novel. It was enthralling. Robin is a fantastic storyteller who captivated me with her descriptions that were never verbose, but always detailed. There were so many gems of Indigenous Knowledge in this book. It is beautiful.

Jun 15, 2016

This is an amazing book - beautifully written, wise, and informative.


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DBRL_ReginaF Apr 26, 2018

“This is really why I made my daughters learn to garden—so they would always have a mother to love them, long after I am gone.”


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