Braiding Sweetgrass

Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

Hardcover, 391 pages

Engllish language

Published July 28, 2013 by Milkweed.

ISBN:
9781571313355

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5 stars (20 reviews)

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 lenses of knowledge together to show that the awakening of a wider 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 are we capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learning to give our own gifts in return.

9 editions

Care in a time of crisis

4 stars

Robin Wall Kimmerer is undoubtedly one of the best writers and storytellers on the topic of human life in the nonhuman (natural) world. Braiding Sweetgrass takes all of her best ability as a writer and converts it into an epic object that blends her scientific self as a botanist, her pedagogical self as an educator, and her storytelling self as a Potowatomi native American. None of these selves is a whole, and this entanglement of identity is central to how Wall Kimmerer explores environmental damage, the postcolonial American landscape, healing and our relationship with the natural world.

Central to the book is the argument that we cannot repair environmental damage without m,bracing care and love of the natural world. Particular criticism is levelled at the scientific institutes and western colonial practices, and their dismissal of love as part of life. The chapters blend native American myth/story with contemporary environmental and …

Review of 'Braiding Sweetgrass' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

Das Buch ist sehr spirituell, was auf seine Weise spannend sein kann; leider hat mich der Teil am Wenigsten interessiert. Die Schwächen einer Lehre, dass man ,Balance' suchen müsse in Allem, zeigen sich dann in so Aussagen wie, Männer und Frauen seien komplementär zueinander. Ein sehr großer Teil waren einfach poetische Naturbeschreibungen, was durchaus seinen Reiz haben kann; ich war aber nicht in der Stimmung.

Review of 'Braiding Sweetgrass' on 'GoodReads'

5 stars

It is so amazingly fantastically validating and wonderful to see how Kimmerer, who is an honest to god scientist, can hold the truths of science and the truths that the world and all its creatures are beautiful generous beings that we need to rebuild a relationship of care and reciprocity with. That these truths strengthen eachother rather than conflict. God I want everyone to read this book.

Review of 'BRAIDING SWEETGRASS' on Goodreads

5 stars

Stunning essays on nature and living, connecting simultaneously in personal indigenous stories of responsibility and care and in scientific understanding of botanical processes and systems. Every description I've tried to give this (and the sub-title and book blurbs too) makes it seem drier and hippier than it is, really a warm and active use of all the threads in the author's life story to make a Rachel Carson-like plea for a change in our personal and societal relationship to the living world which we cannot separate ourselves from. Fun juxtaposition to Lab Girl, a similar voice and subjects but this is definitely the calmer mother focused on retelling stories and nurturing her undergraduate students view of the world, rather than an obsessive scientist in love with the world (though both describe both).

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