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All Our Relatives
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All Our Relatives: Traditional Native American Thoughts about Nature
All Our Relatives: Traditional Native American Thoughts about Nature
Click cover for larger image.
American Indian
Children’s Books

Price:  $15.95

ISBN:  0-941532-77-1
Book Size:  8 1/2 x 11
# of Pages:  36
Language:  English


Through carefully chosen ancient stories and art meticulously reflecting traditional designs and colors, Paul Goble transports the reader into a vision of sacred beauty and wisdom which defined the traditional world of Native America.

  Silver Midwest Book Award for “Nature"  
  Nominated for James Madison Book Award  
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Detailed Description
About the Author
Read Reviews
Table of Contents

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Detailed Description of All Our Relatives

For more than four decades, world-renowned artist and author Paul Goble has participated closely in the life of the Plains Indians of the American West and has met old-timers who knew the pre-reservation days and shared the friendship of many tribal elders. In the tales and songs, dreams and quotations of this book, the ancient Indian ways are brought to life again. The title of this book, “all our relatives” (mitakuye oyasin), is a frequently repeated phrase in Lakota ceremonies that expresses the interdependence of creation and the presence of the Creator in all things. Through carefully chosen stories from the olden days and art that meticulously reflects traditional designs and colors, Goble provides wonderful insights into the spiritual life of these nomadic peoples. His intimate knowledge of their world transports the reader into a vision of the sacred beauty and wisdom that defined traditional Native America.

  Silver Midwest Book Award for “Nature"  
  Nominated for James Madison Book Award  

About the Author(s)

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is an award-winning author and illustrator of over 30 children's books. Goble's life-long fascination with Native Americans of the plains began during his childhood when he became intrigued with their spirituality and culture. His illustrations accurately depict Native American clothing, customs and surroundings in brilliant color and detail. Goble researches ancient stories and retells them for his young audience in a manner sympathetic to Native American ways. Mr. Goble has authored or contributed to the following World Wisdom titles:

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Joe Medicine Crow

Dr. Joe Medicine Crow (1913-2016) was the Crow Tribal Historian and the oldest living man of the Crow tribe. In 1939, he was the first member of the Crow tribe to obtain a master’s degree. Dr. Medicine Crow was a guest speaker at Little Bighorn College, the Custer Battlefield Museum, and several other colleges throughout the nation. Joe Medicine Crow received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, on August 12, 2009. He lived on the Crow Reservation in Lodge Grass, Montana, until his death on April 3, 2016.

His books include, A Handbook of Crow Indian Laws and Treaties, and From the Heart of the Crow Country. Dr. Medicine Crow's contributions to World Wisdom books include:


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Reviews of All Our Relatives

"This book’s title is taken from the Lakota phrase 'mitakuye oyasin,' which translates to 'all my relatives' and is often used in tribal ceremonies and prayers. The text is decorated with Goble’s artwork portraying bird and animal designs, copied from tepees, shields, and drums and considered sacred 'because they picture ... that which came in dreams to give their protection, encouragement, or direction for people’s lives.' "
—Robin Farrell Edmunds, ForeWord Reviews

"In this beautifully illustrated volume, Paul Goble shares his admiration and respect for Native Americans and their close ties to nature and animals. Goble…is an award-winning children’s author and illustrator. He received the Caldecott Medal in 1978 for The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses. Most of his twenty-eight published books reflect his life-long fascination with the Plains Indians and their way of life.

Joe Medicine Crow, former Crow Tribal Historian and the oldest living member of the Crow Tribe, contributes the foreword. Goble, a world-renowned author and illustrator and a winner of the prestigious Caldecott Award, has created 70 full color drawings. These surround a wonderful smorgasbord of quotations from Native Americans who lived during the nomadic times, along with 23 traditional stories."
—Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and

“His art is tremendous because he is able to recreate the traditional forms with great accuracy and detail. The designs he draws are completely authentic and his colors are the same ones that were used by the old-timers before the reservation days. He is able to recreate the spirit of the old stories with his illustrations and his words.”
—Joe Medicine Crow, Crow Tribal Historian, and oldest living member of the Crow Tribe

“Paul Goble captures the beauty, spirituality and profundity of the Plains Indian sacred traditions with a power not of this world. What a glorious legacy he has wrought, and continues to create, and how deeply I thank Ma’heo’o for calling him to so great a vocation.”
— Father Peter J. Powell, Director Saint Augustine’s Center of American Indians; author of Sweet Medicine

"All Our Relatives teaches us that we human beings are among, not above, all the creatures, and cannot live well without heeding their lessons. Paul Goble’s clean, vivid art enhances the wisdom of the poetic Native words."
James Alexander Thom, author of Follow the River, Panther in the Sky (about Chief Tecumseh), and many others

"Paul Goble's Tipi: Home of the Nomadic Buffalo Hunters. blends traditional insights into tipi construction and development with a retelling of old-timers stories and a blending in of art to make for a fine survey of construction techniques, decorations, cultural meaning, and more. TIPI includes over a hundred color illustrations and drawings and makes for a vivid, outstanding survey of the spiritual and culture meaning of the Native American structure."
Midwest Book Review, The Bookwatch June 2007

"Goble presents many examples of the art of tipis and the ways in which different tribes decorated these shelters. This is an absolutely gorgeous paperback filled with exquisite drawings and a deep respect for Native American beauty, meaning and reverence for the natural world."
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice

“The history and culture, the architecture and aesthetics, the very heart of the tipi are revealed and experienced in its true spirit and spender.”
Rodney Frey, University of Idaho

"All of Paul Goble's books are highly recommended."
American Indian Library Association

“Grade 4 Up–The pages of this book are chock-full of quotations, songs, and brief stories that exemplify Native American attitudes toward nature. No segment is longer than half a page; most are a few sentences. Black Elk, Standing Bear, Brave Buffalo, and others observe the importance of various animals and the sacred qualities of all living things. All 120 sections are documented. The spaces between text blocks are filled with Goble's familiar illustrations based on traditional Native American designs and colors…”
School Library Journal

“A beautiful, if overstuffed, compendium of First Nations' prayers, aphorisms and storytelling about animals. The title comes from the Lakota prayer refrain mitakuye oyasin, which means "all my relatives," or "we are all related." Each spread holds a story or two, and then a series of quotations or sayings about the animal in the story, all carefully but unobtrusively footnoted. The profusion of illustrations, brightly colored and ‘taken mostly from tipis, shields and drums,’ says Goble in an author's note, are both fascinating and pleasing to look at.… Especially useful for older children.”
Kirkus Reviews

Table of Contents for All Our Relatives

This book does not include a table of contents.

Excerpts from All Our Relatives

His art is tremendous because he is able to recreate the traditional forms with great accuracy and detail. The designs he draws are completely authentic and his colors are the same ones that were used by the old-timers before the reservation days. He is able to recreate the spirit of the old stories with his illustrations and his words. The stories he selects are all important and help explain our Indian traditions. When he retells a story he captures the most important parts. He also has the ability to select some of the best writings of our old-timers.
—Joe Medicine Crow, Absaroke, From the foreword

HORSES WERE HELD IN THE HIGHEST ESTEEM. Brave Buffalo, Lakota, said: Of all the animals the horse is the Indian’s best friend, for without it he could not go on long journeys. A horse is the Indian’s most valuable possession. Horses were not merely practical possessions, but gifts from the Sky World, having starlight in their eyes and thunder in their hooves, lightning in their legs, and manes and tails, swirling clouds.

Plenty Coups, Absaroke: To be alone with my war horse teaches him to understand me and I to understand him. If he is to carry me in battle he must know my heart and I must know his or we shall never become brothers. I have been told that the white man does not believe that the horse has a soul. This cannot be true. I have many times seen my horse’s soul in his eyes.

When Siyaka, Lakota, was in danger he stood in front of his horse, and holding its head, said: We are in danger. Obey me promptly that we may conquer. If you have to run for your life and mine, do your best, and if we reach home I will give you the best eagle feather I can get and a strip of the finest red cloth, and you shall be painted with the best paint.

Strips of red cloth were tied to the tail or around the neck. Horses wore these, together with eagle feathers and painted symbols, like medals for everyone to see.

Slideshows about All Our Relatives

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