THE TREE THAT RAINS: The Flood Myth of the Huichol Indians of Mexico by Emery -- Adapt. Bernhard

THE TREE THAT RAINS: The Flood Myth of the Huichol Indians of Mexico

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Watakame loves to work. Faithful dog at his side, he plants, tends his fields, and prays for rain; he doesn't even complain when a new fig tree grows each night where he has just cut one down. Finally, he stays awake to see who is undoing his work and discovers ""Nakawe, Great-Grandmother Earth, she who makes things grow,"" who warns him of an impending flood. Noah-like, Watakame builds a boat of the latest tree, packs up a supply of seeds and his dog, and -- with Nakawe -- weathers a four-year flood. Thereafter, the dog becomes a woman and Watakame's wife while a great new fig tree ""gush[es] water from its shining leaves""; the water rises up to rain down on his crops. In Durga Bernhard's art, flat areas of desert tangerine and pink and the deeper greens and purples of night are outlined in less saturated hues to created decoratively stylized illustrations -- a handsomely evocative setting for a particularly interesting myth that, a note explains, is still used in Huichol Indian ritual.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1994
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House