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January 25, 1987|Hartman H. Lomawaima

THE HOPI WAY, TALES FROM A VANISHING CULTURE, collected by Mando Sevillano (Northland: $9.95, paperback; 91 pp., illustrated). The only thing original about the packaging of this volume is that there is nothing original about it. Statement of purpose and limitations, format, illustrations and even the color of the ink used are reminiscent of two other volumes, "Hopitutuwutsi/Hopi Tales" and "Gullible Coyote/Una'ihu," that were reviewed here Aug. 3, 1986. Sevillano's introductory remarks are terse, contradictory and full of opinion. In one section, he tells us that the Pueblo Revolt against Spanish domination took place in 1695, while in another section, the date is 1680. His observation that Third Mesa Hopi speech pattern is comparable to speech patterns heard in the Deep South simply has no basis. Sevillano identifies his main Hopi informant as W. L. Saktewa or just plain "WL." We learn that WL is an artist, well read, traveled, and fluent in Hopi and English languages. When one compares WL's credits, as they apply to this published work, with those of Sevillano, it is difficult to understand why the publisher did not work directly with WL. But once we get past the introduction, we come to the seven stories that help us forget what we've just read. The stories are informative, entertaining and serve as windows to the past. Each one has a moral or concluding statement that is offered as food for thought about acceptable social conduct in Hopi society.

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