White Bead Ceremony

$17.00 each

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Mary Greyfeather’s mother wants her to learn about her Shawnee heritage, but Mary is more interested in her Barbie dolls. This is the story of what happens when the Greyfeather clan gathers and tries to decide upon a name for the little girl.

Available in hardcover only.  White Bead Ceremony, by Sherrin Watkins, with illustrations by Kim Doner.  1994, 35 pages.

Mary Greyfeather’s mother wants her to learn about her Shawnee heritage, but Mary is more interested in her Barbie dolls. Grandma suggests a Shawnee naming ceremony for Mary, complete with the traditional naming gift, a strand of white beads.

This is the story of what happens when the Greyfeather clan gathers and tries to decide upon a name for the little girl. Will she be named for the mseewi womhsoomi, the grass-eaters, for the thepati womhsoomi, the claw animals, or for the swimming animals, the mayataykamshi?

Included in the book is a short history of the Shawnee people written to be read to children. Thirty-two picture cards Mary’s mother uses to teach Shawnee words in the story are also perfect for children to cut out and use. For those reading the book aloud, there is a pronunciation key for Shawnee words.

The White Bead Ceremony is a delightful look at a Native American family whose world bridges two cultures, the traditional Shawnee and the contemporary American.

Author Sherrin Watkins is a lawyer as well as a writer. Of Shawnee and Cherokee heritage, she attended law school at the University of Tulsa on a scholarship for American Indians. She worked for six years at the Muskogee (Creek) Nation headquarters in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, then with Native American children in the Sand Springs Indian Education Department, where she continues to do volunteer work. Today she is in the private practice of law in Okmulgee and writes books and papers on Native American history. This is her first book for children.

Kim Doner is an artist, illustrator and portraitist who has won design contests and had work shown and sold through art galleries and invitationals. Doner is a native Oklahoman with Cherokee roots.

Publisher: Council Oak Books
Languages: English, Shawnee
Culture Group: Shawnee