Skywoman: Legends of the Iroquois

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Author Joanne Shenandoah

Illustrator John Fadden and David Fadden

Publisher  Clear Light Pub (January 1, 1996)

Binding Hardcover

Condition Excellent Like new


"Skywoman: Legends of the Iroquois" is a book that compiles and retells several Iroquois myths and legends, focusing on the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Iroquois people, also known as the Haudenosaunee. The central story in the collection is that of Skywoman, a foundational figure in Iroquois creation mythology.

According to the legend, Skywoman falls from the sky world and lands on the back of a giant turtle. With the help of various animals, she uses the bits of dirt brought up from the water by these creatures to create what is now known as Turtle Island, a name for North America used by several Indigenous cultures. This story sets the stage for a world where humans, nature, and the spiritual realm are deeply interconnected.

The book weaves together stories that highlight the Iroquois' values, beliefs, and traditions, illustrating how these narratives have been passed down through generations to teach and preserve cultural knowledge. Each story is not just a tale of adventure or mythology but serves as a moral lesson and a reminder of the responsibilities humans have towards each other and the Earth.

The retelling of these legends also serves to reinforce the Iroquois' matrilineal society, where women hold significant roles in decision-making and cultural continuity. Through these stories, the book explores themes of balance, respect, and harmony within the community and the natural world, reflecting the Iroquois's deep ecological wisdom and their understanding of the cycles of life and nature.

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