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Hawk Woman Dancing with the Moon

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In the best of worlds, the tarted-up presentation Lake is given here (there are two additional subtitles) would be unnecessary to draw attention to her sincere, open-hearted account of initiation into the ways of Indian medicine. Of Yurok and Karuk (Northern Californian) heritage, Lake is everything she claims to be: a hereditary shaman trained in the arduous traditional way. She is also a modern Indian, living with the sociological problems of reservation life, which include the selling-off and selling-out of Native spiritual ways to a public more eager to wear dream-catcher earrings than to fast, abstain, and endure physical hardship. Here, she weaves autobiography, spiritual counsel, and political commentary effectively and engagingly, and her earthy voice makes even the most extraordinary events solidly believable. She has seen powerful spirits and healed desperate people, and she provides not only a stirring narrative of these circumstances but also a complete spiritual context in which to understand them. Patricia Monaghan