These nine essays blend documentary history, oral history, and ethnographic observation to shed light on the complex world of grandmothering in Native America. The cultural and emotional resources of their ethnic traditions help grandmothers grapple with the myriad social, economic, cultural, and political challenges they faced in the late twentieth century. Indian grandmothers are almost universally occupied with child care and child rearing at some time, but such variables as lineal descent, clan membership, kinship patterns, individual behavior, and cultural ideology change the definition, role, and status of a grandmother from tribe to tribe. Although late-twentieth-century society often impoverishes and marginalizes them, many Indian grandmothers provide grandchildren with social stability and a cultural link to native indentity, history and wisdom. The contributors' case studies explore grandmothering among Navajos, Puget Sound Salish, Tewas, Hopis, Otoes, Choctaws, and Sioux.
In addition to Marjorie Schweitzer, volume contributors include Karen Ritts Benally, Ann Lane Hedlund, Pamela Amoss, Bruce G. Miller, Sue-Ellen Jacobs, Alice Schlegel, Joan Weibel-Orlando, and Pat McCabe.
The royalties from this book are donated to the Native American Scholarship Fund, Inc., based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.