|Winner of the Best Native American Non-fiction for 2011|
Cedar Woman by Debra Shively Welch
Lena Cedar Woman Young Bear, a daughter of the Lakota Sioux, opens the first high-end Native American restaurant in Central Ohio.
This is her story.
Born in May Hill, Ohio, Lena Cedar Woman travels to Columbus at age 12 after tragedy befalls her family. Here, in the capital city, a chance encounter leads her to her destiny.
Walk with her as she changes the lives and fortunes of those she loves.
Follow her to powwow where she meets her half-side.
Rejoice with her at the grand opening of her restaurant.
Cedar Woman allows the reader to learn the ways, and some of the language of The People, while also offering romance and discovery.
Cedar Woman, by Debra Shiveley Welch, is the entertaining story of a young woman: Lena Cedar Woman Young Bear, who is a daughter of the Lakota Sioux. We first meet Lena as she performs a cleansing ceremony on her restaurant Cedar Woman the first high-end Native American restaurant in Central Ohio.
"Facing the west, she extended the smoking bowl and intoned: 'Grandfather of the West, this is Cedar Woman. I ask that you keep my feet true and on the Good Red Road. I ask that you guide me on this day, and all days, so that I may continue on this path. I ask that you help in my daily life. Mitakuye oyasin, we are all related.'"
As a young child Lena sees a hummingbird caught in a spider's web, and proceeds to let it free. This is no ordinary child, the town agrees, as the bird then seems to follow her around. Cedar Woman is the story of Lena's life as she journeys from her home as a young girl to Columbus, where chance encounters lead her to her life's true path - that of an extraordinary woman.
Fully researched, filled with plenty of facts about Native American life and references to actual ceremonies and Native American Prayers, Cedar Woman knows of which it speaks. Written authoritatively in a poetic image-filled manner, this story draws pictures for you of peoples' lives and interactions, masterfully showing that, in the end, we are what we were in the beginning "Mitakuye oyasin, we are all related."
As a delightful bonus, included with the book are recipes of many of the foods mentioned in the story, including Fried Deer Liver, Cowichcan Candy (salmon/maple syrup and brown sugar candy), and Buffalo Stew featuring wild turnips.
To help in the use and translation of the Native American language used in the book, Welch also includes a dictionary with the meaning and phonetics. There are three dialects in the Lakota language and there is no standardized spelling. Welch chose the spelling and pronunciation of the words in keeping with the dialect of her sister, Julie Spotted Eagle Horse Martineau, who is of the Lakota Plains Native Americans.
Finally, it is worth noting that a percentage of royalties are donated to "Operation Smile."
Fully entertaining, Cedar Woman is a story that reaches far beyond the boundaries of its pages.
Reviewer: Wendy Thomas, Allbooks Reviews. www.allbooksreviewint.com
Title: Cedar Woman
Author: Debra Shiveley Welch
Publisher: Saga Books http://www.SagaBooks.net
For more information: http://www.DebraShiveleyWelch.