Talking Rocks: Geology and 10,000 Years of Native American Tradition in the Lake Superior Region

By Ron Morton; Carl Gawboy | Go to book overview

AUTHOR’S NOTE

Carl and I first met at a workshop presented by the Plus Center at The College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. The workshop, entitled “Reading the Land,” was designed for fourththrough eighth-grade teachers to learn about the ecology and geology of Minnesota and how these could be integrated with Native American heritage and land perspectives.

During the workshop, listening to Carl talk about Native Americans who have lived in the midcontinent region for more than 10,000 years, I was struck by how close these people were to planet earth and how much of their culture was related to, and interwoven with, geology. I was also impressed with the way Carl blended the facts of Native American culture and tradition with different stories and myths. Carl’s lectures started me thinking about this book, and the more I considered it, the more excited I became.

At supper one evening, in a kind of garbled rush, I outlined my ideas to Carl and was amazed to find he had been thinking along much the same lines. According to Carl, many of the geological topics presented at the workshop could be found in Native American stories and traditions. Geology, Carl said, provided a foundation for many of the things Native Americans had observed and believed for more than 10,000 years.

As the workshop ended, our collaboration began. We started to write a book that integrated geology and living with planet earth, as it related to the culture, science, and heritage of Native Americans living in the midcontinent region. However, as we soon discovered, in order to do justice to such a project we had to go beyond science, myths, and traditions. The book also had

-vii-

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Talking Rocks: Geology and 10,000 Years of Native American Tradition in the Lake Superior Region
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iv
  • Acknowledgments vi
  • Author’s Note vii
  • Chapter One - The Meeting 1
  • Chapter Two - End of an Ice Age 11
  • Chapter Three - People of the Pays D’En Haut 33
  • Chapter Four - Earth Roots 61
  • Chapter Five - The Wolf’s Head 81
  • Chapter Six - A Long Winter Night 111
  • Chapter Seven - Makers of the Magic Imoke 137
  • Chapter Eight - The Talking Sky 167
  • Chapter Nine - The Never-Ending Circle 197
  • Bibliography 203
  • Index 209
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