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
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.

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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ontherideau Oct 08, 2020

Let's start with respect for the land and gratitude for every morsel we take from it.
"we perpetrate the illusion that the things we consume have just fallen off the back of Santa's sleigh, not been ripped from the earth. The illusion enables us to imagine that the only choices we have are between brands."

debwalker Sep 24, 2020

Resurging as a bestseller for this dark covidtime.

JCLMaggieS Sep 15, 2020

This book reads like home.

Sep 01, 2020

Rec by Jane Sept 2020

JCLFlanneryC Aug 03, 2020

A book that combines ecology, mythology, and observation to show how we can nurture the planet. Beginning with a challenge to rethink our potential for positive interaction & reciprocity with the Earth, Robin Wall Kimmerer brings in examples from her family, community, and Potawatomi tradition to consider ways in which we might begin to evolve our relationship into something mutual & beautiful. I would describe this book as "radically corny," that is, earnest & Utopic in a way that most of us raised in capitalist consumer societies might find frankly embarrassing (e.g. "A garden is the land's way of saying 'I love you"). However it's also very inspiring: one cannot help but be moved by Kimmerer's vision of a Congress that begins its sessions with a prayer of gratitude to Mother Earth. This is one of the few "feel-good" environmentalist texts that encourages meaningful rituals & relationships with the planet.

Jul 17, 2020

Beautifully written, this is a perspective that more people need to hear. I especially enjoyed listening to the author read the audio book. I learned so much! I'll definitely return to reread this one.

Apr 01, 2020

Beautifully articulated!

Dec 30, 2019

PPL dec 2019 staff pick.
need more plant stuff, my phyto tweep

Nov 24, 2019

In this book, the author weaves together a beautiful, healing braid to help bind our wounds, and the Earth's.

Oct 04, 2018

This is a really important book. Part Native/Indigenous history, part autobiography, part science, part storytelling - almost a collection of essays.

Some of the parts didn't quite fit well together, or at least that's how it seemed to me, but still a great and powerful book. I would highly recommend it to others, it has the power to change how you look at and interact with the world and the people in it.

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Apr 01, 2020

“To be native to a place we must learn to speak its language.”

rosixdosi Oct 19, 2019

“When a language dies, so much more than words are lost. Language is the dwelling place of ideas that do not exist anywhere else. It is a prism through which to see the world. Tom says that even words as basic as numbers are imbued with layers of meaning. The numbers we use to count plants in the sweetgrass meadow also recall the Creation Story. Én:ska—one. This word invokes the fall of Skywoman from the world above. All alone, én:ska, she fell toward the earth. But she was not alone, for in her womb a second life was growing. Tékeni—there were two. Skywoman gave birth to a daughter, who bore twin sons and so then there were three— áhsen. Every time the Haudenosaunee count to three in their own language, they reaffirm their bond to Creation.”

rosixdosi Oct 19, 2019

“Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.”

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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Apr 01, 2020

afowler813 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Apr 05, 2020

So much ground is covered is this one book. It speaks to the poet, the scientist, the mother, the conservationist, and the friend; the list goes on and on. Read this to discover the unyielding power of generosity and how a mindful, reciprocal relationship with the earth can ACTUALLY enact positive change.


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