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Medicine Trails
A Life in Many Worlds
Rating :
Author(s) :
Mavis McCovey
John F. Salter
Pages :
Pub Date :
Edition(s) at Erowid :
2009(pb,1st ed,fine)
Publisher :
Heyday Books
Medicine Trails is Mavis McCovey's honest and lively account of her life as a medicine woman in the Klamat River area of Northern California. In this warm and engaging look at her own life, her family's history, and the history of the Karuk, Yurok, and Hupa peoples of the region, McCovey describes the many worlds in which she moves: the Indian and white cultural worlds and the day-to-day and visionary reality of the medicine woman's world, as well as trips to what she calls "the other side."

"This is the book about the spiritual lives of Native people in northwestern California--absolutely the place to begin. It enfolds the intimate histories of families on the Klamath River, from shortly after the gold rush down to today. It also takes us inside a local woman's lived experience of spiritual training and practice as no piece of writing has done before. John Salter's efforts in collecting and editing Mavis McCovey's life story are wonderfully persevering, understanding and unobtrusive, allowing her keenly detailed memories and observations and her storyteller's knack, modest and geerous, to stand on their own as treasures for all."
-- Thomas Buckley, author of Standing Ground: Yurok Indian Spirituality, 1850-1990

"I've fished, hunted, drank, gambled, talked deeply, and attended many dances with Karuk people. I've even been gifted with a ceremonial drug. John Salter's knowledge, depth, and affection for the Klamath River people make mine appear shallow as riffles. He's been out there in the big pools, where the deep knowledge resides. It's a testament to his integrity and purity that Mavis McCovey would speak with him and share her story. If you want to understand the enduring, ancient life of one of California's original people, this is the book, and these two are the guides. Read this book and see what you have missed."
-- Peter Coyote, actor/writer