Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants PDF AZW3 EPUB MOBI TXT Download

A New York Times Bestseller A Washington Post Bestseller Named a “Best Essay Collection of the Decade” by Literary Hub As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert). Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings―asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass―offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.

Robin Wall Kimmerer
August 11, 2015
408 pages

File Size: 4 MB
Available File Formats: PDF AZW3 DOCX EPUB MOBI TXT or Kindle audiobook Audio CD(Several files can be converted to each other)
Language: English, Francais, Italiano, Espanol, Deutsch, chinese

“Robin Wall Kimmerer is writer of rare grace. She writes about the natural world from a place of such abundant passion that one can never quite see the world the same way after having seen it through Kimmerer’s eyes. In Braiding Sweetgrass, she takes us on a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise. She is a great teacher, and her words are a hymn of love to the world.”―Elizabeth Gilbert “Robin Wall Kimmerer has written an extraordinary book, showing how the factual, objective approach of science can be enriched by the ancient knowledge of the indigenous people. It is the way she captures beauty that I love the most―the images of giant cedars and wild strawberries, a forest in the rain and a meadow of fragrant sweetgrass will stay with you long after you read the last page.”―Jane Goodall “I give daily thanks for Robin Wall Kimmerer for being a font of endless knowledge, both mental and spiritual.” ―Richard Powers, New York Times “Robin Wall Kimmerer opens a sense of wonder and humility for the intelligence in all kinds of life we are used to naming and imagining as inanimate.”―Krista Tippett, host of On Being “In a world where only six percent of mammalian biomass on the planet now comprises of wild animals, I longed for books that pressed me up against the inhuman, that connected me to an inhuman world. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer moved me to actual tears.” ―Alexandra Kleeman, The Millions “In Braiding Sweetgrass, botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer tackles everything from sustainable agriculture to pond scum as a reflection of her Potawatomi heritage, which carries a stewardship ‘which could not be taken by history: the knowing that we belonged to the land.’ . . . It’s a book absorbed with the unfolding of the world to observant eyes―that sense of discovery that draws us in.” ―NPR “Professor and botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer knows that the answer to all forms of ecological unbalance have long been hidden in plain sight, told in the language of plants and animals, minerals and elements. She draws on her own heritage . . . pairing science with Indigenous principles and storytelling to advocate for a renewed connection between human beings and nature.” ―Outside “Kimmerer eloquently makes the case that by observing and celebrating our reciprocal relationship with the natural world, one can gain greater ecological consciousness.” ―Sierra Magazine “With deep compassion and graceful prose, Robin Wall Kimmerer encourages readers to consider the ways that our lives and language weave through the natural world. A mesmerizing storyteller, she shares legends from her Potawatomi ancestors to illustrate the culture of gratitude in which we all should live.”―Publishers Weekly “The gift of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book is that she provides readers the ability to see a very common world in uncommon ways, or, rather, in ways that have been commonly held but have recently been largely discarded. She puts forth the notion that we ought to be interacting in such a way that the land should be thankful for the people.”―Minneapolis Star Tribune “Braiding Sweetgrass is instructive poetry. Robin Wall Kimmerer has put the spiritual relationship that Chief Seattle called the ‘web of life’ into writing. Industrial societies lack the understanding of the interrelationships that bind all living things―this book fills that void. I encourage one and all to read these instructions.”―Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Onondaga Nation and Indigenous Environmental Leader About the Author Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses. She lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. <div id="

  • My wife and I read this book for our book club. True to many reviews, the book was apparently loved by most other members. However, we found it filled with vainglory, misandry, an obvious grudge against her ex-husband, too strong a grasp of the obvious, and seems to think she was the 1st person to understand ecological function. Her jeremiad against the department chair who she claimed did not understand that cutting grasses and other plants encourages vigor was too much. To suggest that she persuaded her graduate student to convince her dissertation chair of this well-known phenomenon was just too much.
  • I was lucky enough to be a student of Dr. Kimmerer’s at SUNY ESF. While there, I took every class she offered. Dr. Kimmerer has the kind of quiet voice that everyone hushes to hear, not wanting to miss a word of her eloquence. Reading this book has reminded me to cultivate my love for the Earth in ways that my daughters can participate in, and to recognize the relationship between people and nature as a two-way street. We do not simply destroy or protect nature – we evolved in direct relationship with plants, and plants evolved in direct relationship with us. As an environmental scientist, I like to think that I look at the world through a lens of love and concern for the earth, but this book pushes me further in love and hope and urgency.
  • This goes as a Top 10 Books of All Time in my opinion. Robin grew up in nature, was trained as a scientist, and returned to nature. This book seems to be the story of how she integrated these widely disparate traditions (scientific knowledge vs indigenous wisdom). For anyone who struggles with integrating science and naturalistic philosophy, this book may help illuminate the path along the way.As a medical student training in mainstream hospitals, this book is a lifeline. I read a few pages at a time and take notes along the way. I won’t spoil it, but if you are thinking that maybe this book might be good … it’s good.
  • I absolutely loved the first half of the book. Even the first 250 pages. It was one of the most beautiful intros to a book that I have ever read and it truly did make me consider my place as the daughter of 20th century immigrants on this land. I appreciate that the author does not shame us, instead invites us to become native in certain senses of the word. So we can acknowledge the horrific abuse of original peoples in the United States and beyond without shaming us into otherness. This is how we truly move forward and care for the earth that we now inhabit. I enjoyed her perspective and learning about indigenous cultures in the United States. But it began to lag and grew redundant, preachy and self-serving. I went from not being able to put it down to groaning every-time I picked it up within a matter of just a few chapters. Had it been edited a bit more, I think it would be a 4.5 or a 5 for me. As it is, I don’t know that I’ll ever finish it. Maybe a chapter every once in a while. Too many books out there that are enthralling and edifying from start to finish.
  • “In our language it is called wiingaashk, the sweet-smelling hair of Mother Earth. Breathe it in and you start to remember things you didn’t know you’d forgotten” (p. x). Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer, braids strands of indigenous ways of knowing, scientific knowledge, and an Anishinabekwe scientist’s hope to bring together in ways to serve the earth through essays that create a richly textured whole. Kimmerer writes with the expertise of a scientist and the prose of a poet to create a reading experience through worlds of understanding that feels like you’re wrapped in a blanket of prose.Kimmerer filters scientific knowledge through indigenous story and wisdom about the natural world. Essay titles and compose reflect the intricate weaving of the book: “Skywoman Falling”, “The Council of Pecans”, “Maple Sugar Moon”, and “The Consolation of Water Lilies”. She brings the ancient wisdom to our contemporary world and poses the question, “Can we all understand the Skywoman story not as an artifact from the past but as instructions for the future?” (p 9).Kimmerer shares her acute sense of beauty with not only the physical landscape, but also the linguistic. In the essay “Learning the Grammar of Animacy” she writes, “My first taste of a missing language was the word Puhpowee on my tongue” and her amazement to discover it means, “the force which causes mushrooms to push up from the earth overnight” (p.48). With the discovery of Puhpowee, Kimmerer embarks on a journey to learn the language that was forbidden, beaten, and starved out of Native American children in government boarding schools. When the irritation at the verbs “to be a Saturday, and “to be a hill,” Kimmerer throws down the book, ready to give up, “Oh, the ghosts of the missionaries in the boarding schools must have been running their hands in glee at my frustration. ‘She’s going to surrender,’ they said.’” And in that moment she swears, “In that moment I could smell the water of the bay, watch it rock against the share, and hear it sift onto the sand…the verb wiikwegamaa—to be a bay—releases the water from bondage and lets it live” (p. 55).An exquisite exploration into the natural world through ancient wisdom, Braiding Sweetgrass brings physical, cultural, and linguistic landscapes to life with such exquisite detail, it’s as if she paints the world anew. The three shining strands of sweetgrass in a braid, and strands within this book “represent the unity of mind, body, and spirit that makes us whole” (p. 378) A gorgeous and wise book.
  • This is a book that unites what has been foolishly separated. Biological science and indigenous plant knowledge. Our relationship to the earth and our treatment of it. The modern world and the traditional. Words and actions. Giving and receiving. Kimmerer is a scientist, a professor of biology, and also a member of one of North America’s First Nations. She writes out of love, and pain, and deep knowledge. This book changed and enriched the way I look at the natural world. We HAVE to come to our senses, heal our dialogue with our planet, and the great good sense of this book can help.
  • Kimmerer is a competent writer with an important message. She does however spend a great deal of the book in despair over the loss of indigenous culture, traditional lands and native plant species. If she had been able to end the book with advice on positive community restorative action it would have been so much better.
  • This is a truly exceptional book. It is a letter of love, respect and gratitude to our Mother Earth. It is a prescription for how to restore our world and take the right path and turn back from the brink of our own destruction. The author puts her message across with gentleness and grace; this by no means lessens its impact.Wall Kimmerer draws on her own life experiences and her half North American Indian and half white settler ancestry. Her writing blends her academic botantical scientific learning with that of the North American indigenous way of life, knowledge and wisdom, with a capital W. She brings us fair and square to our modus operandi of live for today who cares about tomorrow, our throwaway society and our greed that can never be sated. It is clear that by comparison with our indigenous brotherhood we are absolutely the younger brother; the loafing teenager with no respect for anything their elders have to tell them, but rather thinking they know everything and they know best.The author, rightly in my opinion, says that all of the messages that we receive, practically on a daily basis, about the destruction that we have so far wrought to our home planet do not in fact spur us into action, but rather send those that care into a frozen state of despair. Her idea is rather to take relative baby steps to try to restore landscapes local to us. She gives an example of a wrecked landscape local to her that people are gradually trying to rescue and bring back to life with some success. It is also about developing a creed of gratitude and reciprocal relationship to our environment, only taking what is needed and never more. Wall Kimmerer gives plenty of examples of how this can be done.She is never sanctimonious and is the first to acknowledge that it is far easier to write about the correct way to live than to actually live it.For all who care about our planet and nature and for all who wish to learn about the balanced life that the North American Indians lived before the white settlers destroyed their culture and way of being, I would highly recommend this book to you.
  • I am a female forest firefighter in Northern Ontario Canada and this book came with me all fire season this year as my pleasure reading while out in the bush, and is now fully battered and loved and has ashy fingerprints ground into every page. I’ve always been a biology nerd and adore living and working in the bush , but this book managed to open my eyes and I felt like I was seeing everything in technicolor for the first time this year. The way I concieve of myself in relation to the natural world, as well as the philosophy from which I now interact with my environment on a daily basis has been completely revolutionized by this book. The very way that I walk through the woods is now different. Written with a fierce and honest beauty, Kimmerer’s elegantly balanced prose is somehow ornate yet minimalistic all at once,. Her intersecting identities as indigenous, woman, mother, poet, and acclaimed biologist are all woven together in a beautiful tapestry in this work, which is itself a truly wondrous and sacred offering to creation. Her weaving together of traditional indigenous knowledge corroborated by today’s biology has made the science of plants and ecosystems come alive for me in a way I’ve never experienced. It is now my favourite book of all time and I will read it again and again as long as I live and work in the forest. I encourage this book for literally anyone who even remotely ‘enjoys the outdoors’ or ‘cares about the environment’, especially those who live in North America and probably do not know nearly enough about the cosmology of the original peoples of this land. This land has rules, rules that indigenous people know and learned and honour and abide by, and we are all (uninvited and very violent settler colonizer) guests in this land and we have never bothered to learn the rules and customs and natural order of this place. She provides an excellent way forward for settlers who want to learn more and try to honour our precious environment and the land here and live right, without just co-opting or appropriating from native culture to try and do so. It’s a complicated dilemma, how we can try to belong here in a place that our ancestors stole and colonized. But she handles that delicate dance with both grace and firm conviction. I wish this was required reading in highschools across the continent. I know I will be buying multiple copies over the years to give away!
  • I love this book. My all time favourite. A book full of information about ecology and botanical science, written in a beautiful, readable style. A rare combination of science, with native wisdom and knowledge.If I was marooned on a desert island, this would be the book I’d take. It’s taught me that even if there were no other humans or animals about, I’d never need feel alone, if trees and plants were present. A great reminder that we humans have no more important a place, than any other species on this beautiful planet. I am so grateful and glad I read it.
  • Stunningly poetic. Informative, intriguing, inspiring. A book that took me by the hand and led me from despair to hope. A fabulous new way of looking at life and our place in the world. A marriage of science and creativity that faces problems and offers solutions. Braiding Sweetgrass has made a huge impact on the way I experience and live my life.
  • This women is simply extraordinary. She writes with kindness and elegance, she writes with her heart and her soul. I have learned so much from her words and wisdom, it opened my eyes, made me realize; I want to be a part of the ecological solution;. Which is why after finishing my Indigenous Studies, I have been accepted in Environmental Sciences. This book changed my life.
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