Adult Reading Level

SINGING FOR POWER: THE SONG OF THE PAPAGO INDIANS OF SOUTHERN ARIZONA by Ruth Murray Underhill. University of Arizona Press,1230 N. Park, #102, Tucson, AZ 85719, (800) 426-3797, (602) 882-3065 in Arizona, (602) 621-8899 FAX. Illustrated. 174 pp., $9.95 paper. 0-8165-1401-1

In this new edition of the 1938 original, Underhill relates the songs that the Papago (the Spanish name for the Tohono O'odham) sing as magic and therapy to cope with the harsh desert environment in which they reside. In their songs, Underhill says, the Papago "called upon the powers of Nature and constrained them to man's will." In the early 1900s, the song was their most precious possession. The most reverent songs are sung to the bring the most sacred substance - rain. Over 50 songs are reproduced, along with commentary on their context. As the Tohono O'odham are becoming less dependent on the natural world for their existence, their songs become increasingly important as a source of wisdom. Highly recommended. Reviewed by Steve Brock

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Native American BOOKS, text and graphics copyright Paula Giese, 1996

Last Updated:Tuesday, April 09, 1996 - 9:32:24 AM