Title: Indian HomesIndian Homes
Author: Keith Brandt
Illustrator: George Guzzi
Pages: 30
Reading Level: Beginner
Star Rating: ★★★

It’s easy to think of Indians as living exclusively in wigwams and tepees, but as Indian Homes demonstrates, there were many different forms of lodging used by Indians and they varied according to geography.

On the very first page the comment is made that

“All of the Indian tribes in North America were descended from people who migrated from Asia at least fifteen thousand years ago.”

 Also pointed out is the fact that

“many, though not all, tribes had in common was that the entrances to their homes faced east. There may have been some religious reason for this, or it may have been done to let in the first light of day as the sun came up.”

Mr. Brandt included this snippet,

“A belief shared by all Indians was that nobody owned the land. The land belonged to the Great Spirit, and its resources were there to be used by all people.” [pg. 13]

Which is a typical plea to acknowledge the superiority of Indians in their lack of greediness. However, a paragraph just two pages later made me realize that it was less a lack of greed and more a lack of responsibility.

“By the time the soil was worn out, two other things had happened. First, the supply of firewood in the area had been used up. And second, the bark that covered the Iroquois long houses had become bug-infested and had begun to decay. But with so much fertile, unused land available, it was an easy matter for a tribe to set up a new village nearby and start over.” [pg. 15]

Far from being careful caretakers of the land, the Indians were actually just as exploitative – they just had more land to rotate through.

Illustrations feature typical Indian clothing – breechcloths, and the like.

Conclusion. Better than Indian Festivals.

Review © 2015 Laura Verret

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