a poet photographer

please note:

this is a mixture of my lazy academic reviews and personal moments as a mama going through academia, and it is all my own opinion, and has absolutely no affiliation with anybody else

writings & ramblings

The Ways of my Grandmother – Beverly Hungry Wolf

From Google Books:A young Native American woman creates a hauntingly beautiful tribute to an age-old way of life in this fascinating portrait of the women of the Blackfoot Indians. A captivating tapestry of personal and tribal history, legends and myths, and the wisdom passed down through generations of women, this extraordinary book is also a priceless record of the traditional skills and ways of an ancient culture that is vanishing all too fast.

Personal: Okay. I have mixed feelings about this. This was published in 1980. And this quote from Wiki: “as an adult, she started investigating and recording them after she married a German man, Adolph Gutöhrlein. Gutöhrlein was fascinated with First Nations’ culture, having immersed himself in it and adopting the surname Hungry Wolf.” It’s no surprise the fascination that German people have with Indigenous people, and the description coming from Google Books is sort of over-the-top flowery praise for the book, which kind of turns me off. There’s multiple layers at work here, but I’m trying to focus on the end work.

I really appreciate seeing the images and the stories gathered. I loved this. I liked seeing how she wrote it, especially story about the woman who called the buffalo – that was a beautiful example of how to combine oral stories into written literature. Compelling yet straightforward, yas.

I liked and will note the chapter on multiple wives, and how that was explained, and presented without judgement. I think that was done quite well. Too often I hear people say “my tribe didn’t do that” and I think that’s bullshit, ha. I also like how she made a special little part on how to prevent childbirth, even though she didn’t go into it. If I spoke about judgement, that was only then that I saw it, or felt it.

The images collected are stunning.


  • “I hope this book provides some inspiration and guidance to the young girls who are growing up behind me” (16)
  • “That old lady, Otsani, has the Power to find things that are lost. Give her this tobacco and ask her to find your knife” (50)
  • “the Scalp Dance was done mostly by women – the wives,  mothers, and sister so those who had gotten the scalps, as well as those who had been mourning for a relative lost to the enemy” (130)
  • “Men who liked to show off would paint their faces, and the women would just watch” (133)
  • “While the people prayed for safety, they heard loud hoofbeats and heavy breathing in the darkened camp. It was th alone bull wandering through the camp. No one dared to harm him” (166)

buy the book: The Ways of My Grandmother 

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