Owl's Eyes and Seeking a Spirit: Kootenai Indian Stories
Kootenai Share Their Traditional Wisdom in Book
How owls got their large eyes and a young man's quest for a vision are two stories in the book published jointly by the Salish Kootenai College Press and the Montana Historical Society Press.
The stories in Owl's Eyes and Seeking a Spirit are recounted by Kootenai elders and illustrated by Kootenai artists from the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana.
The stories are written at a fourth-grade level and make excellent read-aloud books for younger children, but they can be enjoyed by people of all ages who are interested in traditional Native American cultures. The stories traditionally were told by adults to relay tribal wisdom when they gathered together with their kin on cold winter nights.
"Owl's Eyes" tells the story of the friendship between Owl and Mouse and its tragic consequences when Mouse lets down his guard at night and is eaten by Snake.
"Seeking a Spirit" uses powerful, simple imagery to convey the spirituality and courage of a young Kootenai who goes to a mountaintop and receives the power of the buffalo spirit.
"The Montana Historical Society is pleased to work with the Salish Kootenai College Press to bring these stories to all people," former Society Press editor Martha Kohl said.
Owl's Eyes is part of the Press's Indian Reading Series, which also includes Coyote Stories of the Montana Salish Indians, Mary Quequesah's Love Story: A Pend d'Oreille Tale, How Marten Got His Spots and Other Kootenai Indian Stories, How the Morning and Evening Stars Came to Be and Other Assiniboine Indian Stories, How the Summer Season Came and Other Assiniboine Indian Stories, and The Turtle Who Went to War and Other Sioux Stories.
The 32-page book with illustrations accompanying each page is available at bookstores for $5.95, or can be ordered, plus shipping, by calling toll-free 1-800-243-9900.Order