Remote Kwakiutl Village essay example

276 words
A quiet, graceful testimonial to a vanishing way of life, I Heard the Owl Call My Name was Margaret Craven's first book, written when she was sixty-nine. It tells of a young vicar named Mark, sent to a remote Kwakiutl village not knowing he has less than three years to live. In the village, Mark comes to understand the Kwakiutl Indians around him and sees how their traditions are being destroyed through the influence of white men. He watches the "English woman anthropologist" who comes to study the natives and insists upon calling the villagers "Quackadoodles"; he experiences the impact when the government declares it legal for Indians to buy liquor and when traders cheat the villagers out of their cultural treasures; he sees the children lose their ties with their families and heritage while living in residential schools among whites. In striking contrast to the avarice and arrogance of most whites is the selflessness of the Kwakiutls and the beauty of running salmon, tall trees, and tribal festivals. Mark becomes a part of the Kwakiutl world, learning its language and ways, until finally "Time had lost its contours.

He seemed to see it as the raven or the bald eagle, flying high over the village, must see the part of the river that had passed the village, that had not yet reached the village, one and the same". Gentle, full of profound philosophy, this is a book that both calms and disquiets, saddens and exhilarates. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14.