Environment and Nature: The Natural Environment in Native American Thought

  • Annie L. Booth
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_8568

We are the land … that is the fundamental idea embedded in Native American life … the Earth is the mind of the people as we are the mind of the earth. The land is not really the place (separate from ourselves) where we act out the drama of our isolate destinies. It is not a means of survival, a setting for our affairs … It is rather a part of our being, dynamic, significant, real. It is our self …

It is not a matter of being “close to nature” … The Earth is, in a very real sense, the same as our self (or selves) … That knowledge, though perfect, does not have associated with it the exalted romance of the sentimental “nature lovers”, nor does it have, at base, any self‐conscious “appreciation” of the land … It is a matter of fact, one known equably from infancy, remembered and honoured at levels of awareness that go beyond consciousness, and that extend long roots into primary levels of mind, language, perception and all the basic aspects of being … Paula Gunn Allen, Laguna Pueblo...

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  • Annie L. Booth

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