Onkwehonwe-Neha

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This handsomely-illustrated book is part children’s story, part celebration of Mohawk culture, and part history lesson.



Storyteller Skonaganleh:ra explains that “Onkwehonwe-neha” means that all life – earth, water, plants, vegetables, trees, animals, rocks, winds, sun, moon, stars, and spirit world are all part of the circle. We are all part of life that the Creator made, she continues.

In this handsomely-illustrated book about Mohawk social life and customs, Skonaganleh:ra explains that though everything in life was provided original instructions of how to live, we human beings have strayed from ours. The book is part children’s story, part celebration of Mohawk culture, and part history lesson. It explains significant historical events in Native history including the Two Row Wampum agreement between the Dutch and the Onkwehonwe, the 1867 Indian Act, the Education Act that required Indian children to attend specific schools, and the development of First Nations organizations in the 1950s.

This is a story about Native history and its inextricable impact on the modern Native identity. And though traditions are lost to some, Skonaganleh:ra emphatically writes that “Onkwehonwe-neha is our way. It was the truth thousands of years ago, it is the truth today, and it will be the truth in thousands of years from now.”

 

 

Author: Skonaganleh:ra (Sylvia Maracle)

Illustrations: Color illustrations by Carlos Freire

Binding Availability: Paperback

Published: 1994

Tribes/Ethnic Groups: Mohawk