When the mighty wind blows through the swamps of southern Louisiana, it changes not only the land, but the inhabitants as well. Just such a wind brought a lone infant into the care of the Chitimacha Indians deep in the Atchafalaya swamp. Raised by the tribal holy man, Storm Rider grows to adolescence as a respected tribal member, steeped in the wisdom and traditions of his adopted people. Their clan competitions, life-cycle rituals, social interactions, and subsistence labors are well explained in this anthropological novel. When captured by an enemy raiding party, Storm Rider and his nemesis, the village bully, forge a bond that delivers them from danger and charts their futures. Love, hate, friendship, and loyalty ride the dark bayou waters and converge at the sacred Rain Tree. Swamps, hurricanes, cannibals, and unforgettable characters are interwoven as tightly as one of old Cane Basket's watertight baskets in this anthropologically accurate story of American Indian cultures in conflict.
Jon L. Gibson is a retired anthropology professor from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a lifelong research focus on the natives and culture of the Atchafalaya region. He is the author of The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point: Place of Rings and coeditor of Signs of Power: The Rise of Cultural Complexity in the Southeast.