Archive for November 29th, 2008

featherPaula Gunn Allen

Poet, novelist, critic

Born: 1939 died May 29th, 2008

Birthplace: Cubero, New Mexico

 “Breath is life, and the intermingling of breaths is the purpose of good living.”

InfoPlease says this:

Paula Gunn Allen was the daughter of a Lebanese-American father and a Pueblo-Sioux-Scots mother. She was raised near Laguna and Acoma Pueblo reservations and was influenced by the matriarchal Pueblo culture. She received both her BA in English and her MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon, and a doctorate in American studies, with a concentration in Native American literature, from the University of New Mexico.

In 1978 she received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and in 1980, a fellowship to study Indian women’s writings. Her 1983 novel, The Woman Who Owned the Shadows, reflected her own upbringing. Her collections of poetry include Coyote’s Daylight Trip (1978), Shadow Country (1982), and Life is a Fatal Disease (1996). Studies in American Indian Literature: Critical Essays and Course Designs (1983) is considered a landmark text in Native American literary criticism. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions (1986) explores the importance of women in traditional Indian culture.

Along with Patricia Clark Smith, Allen wrote As Long as the Rivers Flow: The Stories of Nine Native Americans (1996) for younger readers. Her latest work is Pocahontas: Medicine Woman, Spy, Entrepreneur, Diplomat (2003), a new look at Pocahontas through the eyes of a Native American woman.

She taught at Fort Lewis College, San Diego State University, San Francisco State University, the University of New Mexico, and retired in 1999 from the University of California at Los Angeles.


” The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions” is considered  essential feminist reading, along with “Hwame, Koshkalak, and the Rest”. Her work presented an argument of Essentialism, as opposed to Simone de Beauvior’s Feminist Existentalism, or Constructionism, and Monique Wittig’s  Universalism,requiring the abolition of gender catagories.

Allen’s work on Pocahontas made her a Pulizter Prize nominee.

The end of her life was difficult as she lost her home and possessions in January of this year, due to a fire, and was hospitalized for several weeks.



Library Thing Book List


The Sacred Hoop: A Contemporary

Indian Perspective on American

Indian Literature


I Own My Vote, PUMA, The Denver Group, Just Say No Deal

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b16_days_topToday is International Women Human Rights Defenders Day. (ICWHRD). As of this date, November 29th, 2008, Wikipedia did not yet record this event in English.

This day is a commemoration of activist women who have been defenders of human rights, many of whom have been killed in the line of duty. And, it has been a duty of honor in a worldwide war. (more…)

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Note: PPM means parts per million

Infant Formula

The current maximum standard for the average human’s consumption of melamine in the US is 2.5 parts per million, or ppm. This, of course assumes, that you will not consume your melamine-laced milk, with your possibly laced breakfast cereal and double you intake. The FDA has now set a standard for infants of 1 ppm.

It seems to me that most babies start out at less than a ratio of 1 to 2.5, so I don’t know how we arrived at the decision that this new standard would be acceptable. I guess we should be happy for small favors. (more…)

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Performed this date, November 29th, 1944, the first Blalock-Taussig Shunt on an eleven month old baby girl. (more…)

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b16_days_topEach year the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers highlights sixteen women, men and organizations that standout in the fight against gender violence. Representing November 29th, is: (more…)

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featherKateri Tekakwitha  [tek”äkwith’u]

1656 – April 17, 1680

“Born in 1656 of an Algonquin Indian mother who was a devout Christian, and a pagan Mohawk chief.  Kateri Tekakwitha was beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II. Despite common understanding, Tekakwitha’s people were of a matrilineal tradition. Therefore,  she belonged to the Algonquin nation. (more…)

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