Saturday, July 01, 2006

Tohono O'odham

I left a comment on She Says' blog the other day about the Tohono - just a story my mother had told me about diabetes and the native diet. I just realized that almost on the same day I left the comment, I was actually reading a book based on Tohono O'odham culture. When I was in Arizona, I bought Eryn a signed ("Ole!") copy of "The Three Little Javelinas" (Los Tres Pequenos Jabalies) by Susan Lowell (illustrated by Jim Harris) - pages in both Spanish and English. The last page states:

Besides the calssic European-American tale, my sources include the many Coyote fables told by southwestern Indians, particularly those of the Tohono O'odham, (toe-HO-no O-OH-tam) or Desert People (formerly known as the Papago tribe), of southern Arizona and northern Mexico [my note: just like you said, She Says, they bracket the border]. In these stories, Coyote is always a laugher and a trickster who is freuqently outsmarted by other animals.

The setting for this story is in the vicinity of the Tohono O'odham Reservation, near Tucson, Arizona, in early summer....

Even without the lessons about native culture, it's a great book, and Eryn often has me read bits of it in mutilated Spanish, particularly when Coytoe gets singed in the fireplace and in English screams "Yip, yap, yeep, YEE-OWW-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!", but in Spanish screams, "Aa, aay, aaay, Aaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!" Before the three little pigs I didn't even know a translation was necessary in that case.

1 comment:

She says said...

Good to know... I saw those books all over the place when I was in AZ.

Another thing I collect, in addition to the masks and the Asian American political memorabilia, is children's books from different cultures. I don't have any kids, but they're really wonderful stories with great art.

Maybe I'll have to get that one online since I didn't grab it when I was there...

Also, on a completely unrelated note, when am I going to graduate from law student on your blog?