Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
Braiding sweetgrass : indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants
2014
Please select and request a specific volume by clicking one of the icons in the 'Where is it?' section below.
Where is it?
Map It
Annotations

"As a leading researcher in the field of biology, Robin Wall Kimmerer understands the delicate state of our world. But as an active member of the Potawatomi nation, she senses and relates to the world through a way of knowing far older than any science. In Braiding Sweetgrass, she intertwines these two modes of awareness--the analytic and the emotional, the scientific and the cultural--to ultimately reveal a path toward healing the rift that grows between people and nature. The woven essays that construct this book bring people back into conversation with all that is green and growing; a universe that never stopped speaking to us, even when we forgot how to listen"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

"As a leading researcher in the field of biology, Robin Wall Kimmerer understands the delicate state of our world. But as an active member of the Potawatomi nation, she senses and relates to the world through a way of knowing far older than any science. In Braiding Sweetgrass, she intertwines these two modes of awareness--the analytic and the emotional, the scientific and the cultural--to ultimately reveal a path toward healing the rift that grows between people and nature. The woven essays that construct this book bring people back into conversation with all that is green and growing; a universe that never stopped speaking to us, even when we forgot how to listen"--n Braiding Sweetgrass, she intertwines these two modes of awareness--the analytic and the emotional, the scientific and the cultural--to ultimately reveal a path toward healing the rift that grows between people and nature. The woven essays that construct this book bring people back into conversation with all that is green and growing; a universe that never stopped speaking to us, even when we forgot how to listen"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

Explains how developing a wider ecological consciousness can foster an increased understanding of both nature's generosity and the reciprocal relationship humans have with the natural world. - (Baker & Taylor)

A New York Times Bestseller
A Washington Post Bestseller
Named a "Best Essay Collection of the Decade" by Literary Hub

As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert).

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return. - (Perseus Publishing)

“I give daily thanks for Robin Wall Kimmerer for being a font of endless knowledge, both mental and spiritual.” —RICHARD POWERS, NEW YORK TIMES - (Perseus Publishing)

Author Biography

Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses. She lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. - (Perseus Publishing)

Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

Library Journal Reviews

Kimmerer (environmental & forest biology, State Univ. of New York Coll. of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse) was awarded the 2005 John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing for her first book, Gathering Moss. In these beautifully written essays, she explores the natural world, wedding the scientific method with the traditional knowledge of indigenous people. Kimmerer herself is a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Bringing together memoir, history, and science, she examines the botanical world, from pecans to sweetgrass to lichens to the three sisters (corn, beans, and squash), also describing moments of her past, such as boiling down maple sap to make syrup with her children. She shares her efforts to reclaim her culture through studying the language and learning to weave baskets. Intertwined throughout is the history of the injustices perpetrated against indigenous people and the land. Kimmerer writes of investigating the natural world with her students and her efforts to protect and restore plants, animals, and land. A trained scientist who never loses sight of her Native heritage, she speaks of approaching nature with gratitude and giving back in return for what we receive. VERDICT Anyone who enjoys reading about natural history, botany, protecting nature, or Native American culture will love this book.—Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove P.L., IL

[Page 114]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

With deep compassion and graceful prose, botanist and professor of plant ecology Kimmerer (Gathering Moss) encourages readers to consider the ways that our lives and language weave through the natural world. A mesmerizing storyteller, she shares legends from her Potawatomi ancestors to illustrate the culture of gratitude in which we all should live. In such a culture, "Everyone knows that gifts will follow the circle of reciprocity and flow back to you again... The grass in the ring is trodden down in a path from gratitude to reciprocity. We dance in a circle, not in a line." Kimmerer recalls the ways that pecans became a symbol of abundance for her ancestors: "Feeding guests around the big table recalls the trees' welcome to our ancestors when they were lonesome and tired and so far from home." She reminds readers that "we are showered every day with gifts, but they are not meant for us to keep... Our work and our joy is to pass along the gift and to trust that what we put into the universe will always come back." (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Planting Sweetgrass
Skywoman Falling
3(8)
The Council of Pecans
11(11)
The Gift of Strawberries
22(11)
An Offering
33(6)
Asters and Goldenrod
39(9)
Learning the Grammar of Animacy
48(15)
Tending Sweetgrass
Maple Sugar Moon
63(9)
Witch Hazel
72(10)
A Mother's Work
82(16)
The Consolation of Water Lilies
98(7)
Allegiance to Gratitude
105(16)
Picking Sweetgrass
Epiphany in the Beans
121(7)
The Three Sisters
128(13)
Wisgaak Gokpenagen: A Black Ash Basket
141(15)
Mishkos Kenomagwen: The Teachings of Grass
156(11)
Maple Nation: A Citizenship Guide
167(8)
The Honorable Harvest
175(30)
Braiding Sweetgrass
In the Footsteps of Nanabozho: Becoming Indigenous to Place
205(11)
The Sound of Silverbells
216(7)
Sitting in a Circle
223(18)
Burning Cascade Head
241(13)
Putting Down Roots
254(14)
Umbilicaria: The Belly Button of the World
268(9)
Old-Growth Children
277(16)
Witness to the Rain
293(10)
Burning Sweetgrass
Windigo Footprints
303(7)
The Sacred and the Superfund
310(31)
People of Corn, People of Light
341(7)
Collateral Damage
348(12)
Shkitagen: People of the Seventh Fire
360(14)
Defeating Windigo
374(6)
Epilogue: Returning the Gift 380(5)
Notes 385(2)
Sources 387(2)
Acknowledgments 389

Librarian's View
Displaying 1 of 1