The Omaha - Watts Library

Franklin WattsSKU: 0531164810

Anderson, Madelyn Klein
Grade Levels:
Four, Five, Six, Seven
Omaha, Plains
Book Type:
Franklin Watts
Copyright Data:

Sale price$10.95
In stock


The Omaha is a children's book for grades four to seven about the history and culture of this Plains tribal group whose present-day reservation is located in Nebraska. The author begins the book by describing the return of a Sacred Pole to the Omaha community. This Sacred Pole had been removed from the Omaha people and housed in the Peabody Museum by ethnologist Alice Fletcher. The author explains the significance of the pole and how the Omaha people's tribal structure had broken down making the removal of the pole necessary. This particular viewpoint ignores the destructiveness of anthropologists removing sacred objects from Native American communities. Nevertheless the author credits Fletcher and her assistant Francis LaFlesche with "saving" the pole. The second chapter includes a version of the Omaha creation story. The author explains that this version contains no spirits or magic, as do other Native American Nations' creation stories. The remainder of the chapter covers Omaha spiritual beliefs. The next chapter describes the four stages in the lives of Omaha men and women from early childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age and death. The next chapter covers Omaha history as it relates to contact with Europeans and later the US military and government. Included here are brief overviews of treaties, coming of the railroad, loss of land, and the reservation period. The final chapter called, Struggling to Survive, deals with the reservation life of the Omaha people during the 20th century. The author compares the problems Omaha people faced with other immigrants to America. Unfortunately the Native People have additional barriers to overcome that the author fails to acknowledge. The author spends the major portion of the chapter focusing on one economic development aspect of the Omaha Nation. She explains that the Omaha have chosen to manufacture and sell discount cigarettes from their reservation. This Franklin Watts series on Indians of the Americas details the culture and history including present day life of a specific Native North American Nation. Unfortunately this volume's author did not consult Omaha educators or historians for assistance. Despite the liberal use of colour photographs and maps as well as the inclusion of glossary, index, and bibliography, this book fails to accurately portray the Omaha Nation. The value of this title is limited and readers should not rely on this book's accuracy.

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