November 30, 2006

When (the Christian) God made the Dakotas

Tim Kessler's When God Made the Dakotas

According to this review, this Christian book portrays the creation of the Dakotas as a pseudo-Christian event. Specifically:The depiction of Wakantanka as an elderly Indian guy—with white hair, face paint, and three goose feathers stuck in his hair—is more reflective of the Judeo-Christian ethos than it is to ours. In the belief system to which the author apparently ascribes, God is said to have created man in his own image. In our belief system, however, the Creator’s presence is manifest in all things, and does not appear simply in human form.

Further, no informed Dakota would give the Creator a detailed description of what kind of land he’d like his people to inhabit; this would be an insult to the Creator. To us, all creation is beautiful and a great mystery. From the beginning, we have developed a complex, symbiotic and reverent relationship with the land. We are not above the earth but are a part of it and our belief in creation and by extension our Creator stresses this relationship.
(Excerpted from Debbie Reese's American Indians in Children's Literature, 11/28/06.)

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