Monday, December 07, 2009

Hopi writer, Polingaysi Qoyawayma

Reading Beyond the Mesas this morning, I see that Matt (my friend and colleague in American Indian Studies here at Illinois) wrote about Polingaysi Qoyawayma. Her book, No Turning Back, is on my list of recommended books (see the text top right of this page that says "Click here to see a list of recommended books and resources). She was Hopi from Orayvi on Third Mesa, and, Matt says, she was the first Hopi teacher to teach Hopi children at a Hopi day school.

What I learned by reading Beyond the Mesas this morning is that Qoyawayma also wrote a book for younger children! I ordered it right away and look forward to reading it. The title of her children's book is The Sun Girl.

Reading what Matt says about it, I think it may be similar to one of my favorite picture books, Cynthia Leitich Smith's Jingle Dancer. Both are about a Native child learning a dance her people do. (Reminder: Native dance is not entertainment or performance. Pueblo dance in particular is a form of prayer.) Fortunately, Jingle Dancer is still in print. The Sun Girl, published in 1941, is not. I'll blog it when I get it. In the meantime, click on over to Remembering Polingaysi Qoyawayma at Beyond the Mesas and see what Matt says about her and her books.

1 comment:

Rob said...

I have No Turning Back and just got Jingle Dancer for my young niece. Good stuff.