Whetung Ojibwa Centre
Mishomis by Edward Benton-Banai ***Best Seller***
Soft Cover, 114 pages
The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway is the classic book about Ojibway traditional teachings written for children and all learners. Edward Benton Banai is the Ojibway teacher and spiritual leader who founded the Red School House, an alternative school for Native students in St. Paul, Minnesota. His goal in writing The Mishomis Book was to provide students with an accurate account of Ojibway culture, history, and worldview based on the oral teachings. This book begins with the Ojibway creation story and how first man came to earth. The fifteen chapters cover the traditional teachings about the acquisition of fire and tools, the creation and meaning of the clan system, the migration of the Ojibway people from the Atlantic Coast to their present locations in Canada and the United States. The final chapter describes more recent history. Throughout the book, the author includes the use of Ojibway words and their meanings, as well as helpful maps and illustrations. Other major topics covered include the four directions, the pipe, the Midewiwin and Sweat Lodge, the Seven Fires prophesy, and the Seven Grandfathers Teaching, values and beliefs, and the role of Elders. One minor point, reference is made to the extinction of the Deer Clan - the Deer Clan in Ontario is not extinct. Students in elementary and secondary school will find The Mishomis Book a useful text for First Nations Studies; college and university courses in Native Studies will also appreciate the traditional teachings contained within this important work.