Braiding Sweetgrass

(20 customer reviews)

$13.51

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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Milkweed Editions; First Paperback edition (August 11, 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 408 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1571313567
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1571313560
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.16 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.4 x 1 x 8.4 inches

20 reviews for Braiding Sweetgrass

  1. Meadow Vole

    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.

  2. hawkchild

    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.

  3. ChrisPnj

    This is a wonderful book. Ms Wall Kimmerer paints a picture when she writes- that thrusts the reader into 3-D space of seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling & being -This is not usually a book whose subject matter would interest me, but the reviews intrigued me. The book sat on my “to read” shelf for a bit. Around earth day I started reading it and didn’t want to put it down. Ms. Wall Kimmerer is a “mother, scientist, decorated professor, an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation & a wonderful writer/story-teller” re: ” indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants”..topics also include “ecology of spirit”, reciprocity, spirituality, climate change, and one of my favorites: “allegiance of gratitude.. the Thanksgiving Address”, which reminded me of St Francis’ “Canticle of the Creatures” and then some. Her writing transposed me to relocating with the indigenous people, crying at the way our Gov’t has treated them; honoring trees & feeling how to properly make baskets, smelling the tree & plant roots and sweetgrass and seeing and listening to the beauty of this earth! She ends the preface with “..imagine a different relationship, in which people and land are good medicine for each other.” She ends with: ” The moral covenant of reciprocity calls us to honor our responsibilities for all we have been given, for all that we have taken…. Whatever our gift, we are called to give it and to dance for the renewal of the world. In return for the privilege of breath.” Love spending time, “Braiding Sweetgrass”!

  4. Iain C. Massey

    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.

  5. Theauthorktlove

    I bought this book after listening to it on audio book that I’d rented from the library. The story as told by its author, Robin Wall Kimmerer, affected me in a world changing way. Like drawing the Tower card in the Tarot. It is a revelation and chronical of ones love, life lessons and loyalty to one another and to each thing in our world. I never thought about a world built on a gift economy. I had never heard the stories of Sky Woman and Nanabozho. I did not know the lessons of the Pecan tree. I did not understand the depth of intertwining of the Three Sisters. I did not know the rock and I were brothers. But after experiencing them here I found I am in complete agreement with this Holy text. It is a comfort. It is all seeing and quite personal. It is life view building. It is a love song to our world. And now I strive live by it.

  6. S. AndersonS. Anderson

    I became attached to this book. After reading a chapter I would give myself the time to assimilate what I just read. It changed me. Deeply.The last few years my husband and I have been raising Monarchs. This led to increasing the number of native pollinator plants in our urban yard….which eventually became a pocket prairie. I have become more and more interested in the life of insects, plants and trees. He has a degree in wildlife biology. So, these things aren’t new to me. But, reading ‘Braiding Sweetgrass’ have brought the concepts alive. I feel a very close relationship with these creatures of the wild. I also feel a sense of calm. Love it.

  7. cjastram

    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.

  8. Katie Sandstedt

    This book changed my life. I have been a gardener most of my life, and have felt a connection to nature even as a city dweller. But reading this book has deepened my experience of the natural world into a much more spiritual level unlike any other book I have read previously. The science is fascinating and understandable; the wisdom is awe-inspiring. It is a book that I open and read whenever I need to plant my feet on the ground again. I can’t recommend this book more highly.

  9. Iain C. Massey

    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.

  10. Meadow Vole

    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.

  11. ChrisPnj

    This is a wonderful book. Ms Wall Kimmerer paints a picture when she writes- that thrusts the reader into 3-D space of seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling & being -This is not usually a book whose subject matter would interest me, but the reviews intrigued me. The book sat on my “to read” shelf for a bit. Around earth day I started reading it and didn’t want to put it down. Ms. Wall Kimmerer is a “mother, scientist, decorated professor, an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation & a wonderful writer/story-teller” re: ” indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants”..topics also include “ecology of spirit”, reciprocity, spirituality, climate change, and one of my favorites: “allegiance of gratitude.. the Thanksgiving Address”, which reminded me of St Francis’ “Canticle of the Creatures” and then some. Her writing transposed me to relocating with the indigenous people, crying at the way our Gov’t has treated them; honoring trees & feeling how to properly make baskets, smelling the tree & plant roots and sweetgrass and seeing and listening to the beauty of this earth! She ends the preface with “..imagine a different relationship, in which people and land are good medicine for each other.” She ends with: ” The moral covenant of reciprocity calls us to honor our responsibilities for all we have been given, for all that we have taken…. Whatever our gift, we are called to give it and to dance for the renewal of the world. In return for the privilege of breath.” Love spending time, “Braiding Sweetgrass”!

  12. Theauthorktlove

    I bought this book after listening to it on audio book that I’d rented from the library. The story as told by its author, Robin Wall Kimmerer, affected me in a world changing way. Like drawing the Tower card in the Tarot. It is a revelation and chronical of ones love, life lessons and loyalty to one another and to each thing in our world. I never thought about a world built on a gift economy. I had never heard the stories of Sky Woman and Nanabozho. I did not know the lessons of the Pecan tree. I did not understand the depth of intertwining of the Three Sisters. I did not know the rock and I were brothers. But after experiencing them here I found I am in complete agreement with this Holy text. It is a comfort. It is all seeing and quite personal. It is life view building. It is a love song to our world. And now I strive live by it.

  13. Dawn Wink

    “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.

  14. Katie Sandstedt

    This book changed my life. I have been a gardener most of my life, and have felt a connection to nature even as a city dweller. But reading this book has deepened my experience of the natural world into a much more spiritual level unlike any other book I have read previously. The science is fascinating and understandable; the wisdom is awe-inspiring. It is a book that I open and read whenever I need to plant my feet on the ground again. I can’t recommend this book more highly.

  15. Jack Lattimore

    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.

  16. Jack Lattimore

    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.

  17. S. AndersonS. Anderson

    I became attached to this book. After reading a chapter I would give myself the time to assimilate what I just read. It changed me. Deeply.The last few years my husband and I have been raising Monarchs. This led to increasing the number of native pollinator plants in our urban yard….which eventually became a pocket prairie. I have become more and more interested in the life of insects, plants and trees. He has a degree in wildlife biology. So, these things aren’t new to me. But, reading ‘Braiding Sweetgrass’ have brought the concepts alive. I feel a very close relationship with these creatures of the wild. I also feel a sense of calm. Love it.

  18. hawkchild

    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.

  19. Dawn Wink

    “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.

  20. cjastram

    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.

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