A Salishan Autobiography
"An exciting story that transports the reader to another time and place. . . . Anyone interested in American Indian history, culture, religion, and literature should read this informative volume that was produced at such great cost. Mourning Dove literally gave her life to do this work, and Jay Miller has painstakingly edited it to share the words and wisdom of Humishuma with the non-Salish world."—American Indian Culture and Research Journal.
"Mourning Dove’s evocation of the complexities of tribal life is irresistible, full of acutely remembered conversations, ceremonies, and events."—Library Journal. "The accounts of guardian spirit quest, of seeking medicinal power, of winter dancing, seancind rite, and the sweatlodge unite cultural knowledge and personal experience in a compelling way. The perspective on history through the experience of her family is immensely valuable as well."—Dell Hymes, Canadian Journal of Native Studies.
"[This] autobiography artfully weaves tribal history, Salishan traditions, and a wealth of information of the female life cycle with the story of [Christine] Quintasket’s own childhood and coming of age on the Colville Reservation in Washington. Mourning Dove is a rare and important study of the Interior Salish people during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Miller, by providing thoughtful editing and constructive footnotes, have given new life to Mourning Dove’s narrative."—Western Historical Quarterly.
Mourning Dove was the pen name of Christine Quintasket, a member of the
Colville Federated Tribes of eastern Washington State. She was the author of Cogewea, The Half-Blood (one of the first novels to be published by a Native American woman) and Coyote Stories, both reprinted as Bison Books.
Jay Miller, formerly assistant director and editor at the D’Arcy McNickle Center for the History of the American Indian, Newberry Library, Chicago, now is an independent scholar and writer in Seattle. He is the compiler of Earthmaker: Tribal Stories from Native North America.