A GOD ON EVERY MOUNTAIN TOP: Stories of Southwest Indian Sacred Mountains by Byrd Baylor

A GOD ON EVERY MOUNTAIN TOP: Stories of Southwest Indian Sacred Mountains

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is not one of Baylor's brief, poetical musings but a retelling, in her characteristic broken lines, of Southwest Indian stories. There are different tribes' versions of how the first people came up from under the mountains and how the mountains were made or moved. There are short, two-page stories of the mountains at war, the mountains as loving allies or as refuge from enemies, of mountain dreams and spirits and magic spots. As one might expect, Baylor plays up the mountains' sacred qualities rather than any possible drama or action in the stories; and, as ever, her line arrangements set up a barrier of imposed piety. In a different key altogether are Brown's sleek primitivist cartoons--which tend to puncture, rather than lighten, Baylor's mood. However, the traditional material includes some resonant images and motifs, and Baylor as humble servant to the old voices conveys them simply and directly.

Pub Date: April 27th, 1981
Publisher: Scribners