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Newell Lyon learned the oral tradition from his elders in Maine's Penobscot Nation and was widely considered to be a "raconteur among the Indians." The thirteen stories in this new volume were among those that Lyon recounted to anthropologist Frank Speck, who published them in 1918 as Penobscot Transformer Tales. Transcribed for the first time into current Penobscot orthography and with a new English translation, this instructive and entertaining story cycle focuses on the childhood and coming-of-age of Gluskabe, the tribe's culture hero. Learning from his grandmother Woodchuck, Gluskabe applies lessons that help shape the Wabanaki landscape and bring into balance all the forces affecting human life. These tales offer a window into the language and culture of the Penobscot people in the early twentieth century.
In "Still They Remember Me," stories are presented in the Penobscot language and English side-by-side, coupled with illustrations from members of the tribal community. For the first time, these stories are accessible to a young generation of Penobscot language learners and scholars of Native American literatures at all levels, from grade school to graduate school.
About the Author
CAROL A. DANA is Penobscot language master for the Penobscot Nation. MARGO LUKENS is professor of English at the University of Maine. CONOR M. QUINN is adjunct assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Southern Maine.
"This book is an outstanding example of successful, reciprocal collaboration between tribal scholars and academics. These stories are short enough to allow for easy reading and accessible teaching, but they are not simplified versions. They allow readers to see the depth of Penobscot philosophy, ecology, humor, and knowledge. I cannot stress enough how necessary these stories are now, in the twenty-first century."—Lisa Brooks, author of Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip's War
"Bombarded by books in English, Wabanaki children and community readers now have access to this important bilingual book that emphasizes language use and acquisition. For most academics and general readers, the bilingual stories can reposition our place of privilege by encouraging us to deeply appreciate the important nuances in Penobscot history."—Micah A. Pawling, editor of Wabanaki Homeland and the New State of Maine: The 1820 Journal and Plans of Survey of Joseph Treat