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Talking Rocks

Geology and 10,000 Years of Native American Tradition in the Lake Superior Region

2003
Authors:

Ron Morton and Carl Gawboy
Illustrations by Carl Gawboy

Talking Rocks

An earth scientist and a Native American elder explore the natural history of the Lake Superior region, examining both the science and the spirit of the land.

An earth scientist and a Native American elder explore the natural history of the Lake Superior region, examining both the science and the spirit of the land.

Join the conversation as an earth scientist and a Native American elder—wise men from two cultures—explore the natural history of the Lake Superior region, examining both the science and the spirit of the land.

As the geologist carefully presents a modern scientific perspective, the storyteller eloquently recounts a traditional Native American understanding, passed on through tales, myths, and symbols that illustrate how intimately his people have known and honored the earth and its history for over a hundred centuries.

Talking Rocks
is not only a story of geological history told from two perspectives, it is also a chronicle of two people from very different cultural and scientific heritages learning to understand and appreciate each other’s distinct yet complementary ways of viewing the land we share.

Talking Rocks

Ron Morton is professor of geology at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he teaches economic geology, volcanology, and other earth science courses. An avid advocate of geology for lay people, Ron enjoys translating technical scientific concepts into everyday language and experience.

Ojibwe by heritage, Carl Gawboy is an accomplished artist and retired professor of American Indian studies at the College of St. Scholastica. Carl has a lifelong interest in exploring the connections between ancient pictographs and traditional Native American understandings of astronomy and the constellations.

Talking Rocks

CONTENTS

Acknowledgments

Author's Note

ONE: THE MEETING
TWO: END OF AN ICE AGE

Part I: Old Man and the Spirit of Summer
Part II: When the Great Panther Rises

THREE: PEOPLE OF THE PAYS D'EN HAUT

Part I: Origins
Part II: The Nothing
Part III: Food to Go

FOUR: EARTH ROOTS

Part I: Introduction
Part II: People of the Rocks
Part III: People of Gichi Garni
Part IV: The Four Seasons

FIVE: THE WOLF'S HEAD

Part I: The Fire of Manidoo and the Old Man
Part II: People of the Red Metal
Part III: Minong

SIX: A LONG WINTER NIGHT

Part I: Tambora and the Little Ice Age
Part II: Shooting the Wintermaker
Part III: The Fur Trader

SEVEN: MAKERS OF THE MAGIC SMOKE

Part I: The Red Stone
Part II: Coyote and the Gift

EIGHT: THE TALKING SKY

Part I: Fisher and Friends
Part II: The Immensity of It All

NINE: THE NEVER-ENDING CIRCLE

Bibliography

Index