THE BASKET MAKER AND THE SPINNER by Beatrice Siegel

THE BASKET MAKER AND THE SPINNER

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

First following the life-pattern of Yawata, a Wampanoag of New England and a basketmaker, then sampling the life of Mary Allen, a settler and spinner, Siegel tries to show not only the different lifestyles and values of the cultures but also the pressure of white men on the Indian population. The two women never meet; they coexist on separate planes, demonstrating their ways of life. While concentrating on these two, Siegel strays to discuss styles of baskets in other tribes, the history of spinning (Siegel differs from 'the many anthropologists who believe spinning of a sort preexisted white contact), and a quick overview of the fate of American Indians. A newcomer to Indian lore might be put off by the emphasis on New England and such statements as: ""Yawata and most of her people were wiped out."" More might be discouraged by the diffused focus, the introduction of Mary late in the story, and the flat imparting of facts. There is much interesting material here, touched on lightly. Reading level is mature. An appendix gives the Wampanoag ""calendar""--names for periods of time. Index and suggested reading list. Illustrations are sensitive and well-detailed, often telling more than the text.

Pub Date: June 29th, 1987
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Walker