Category Archives: reviews

Native American Books: Reading List

Books about indigenous culture, religion and history. These are definitely worth checking out, for natives and non-natives. This will be an ongoing list, because I am always sniffing out new books and I read a lot.

If You Only Read a Few, Read These

  • Do All Indians Live in Tipis? Questions and Answers from the National Museum of the American Indian by the Smithsonian
  • An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  • Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder by Kent Nerburn
  • Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto by Vine Deloria Jr.

 

Generally Awesome-Religion, Culture and History of Indigenous Peoples

(Not specific to any one tribe)

  • 100 Native Americans Who Shaped History by Bonnie Juettner
  • God is Red: A Native View on Religion by Vine Deloria Jr.
  • The Wolf at Twilight: An Indian Elder’s Journey Through a Land of Ghosts and Shadows by Kent Nerburn
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown
  • The World We Used to Live In: Remembering the Powers of the Medicine Men by Vine Deloria Jr.
  • Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future by Melissa K. Nelson
  • 100+ Native American Women Who Changed the World by K.B. Schaller
  • The Circle is Sacred: A Medicine Book for Women by Scout Cloud Lee
  • The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions by Paula Gunn Allen
  • Grandmothers of the Light: A Medicine Woman’s Sourcebook by Paula Gunn Allen
  • Two Spirit People: American Indian Lesbian Women and Gay Men by Lester Brown
  • American Indians in WWI: At Home and at War by Thomas Britton
  • Uneven Ground: American Indian Sovereignty and Federal Law by David Wilkins
  • National Geographic on Indians of the Americas by Matthew Stirling
  • First Peoples: A Documentary Survey of American Indian History by Colin Calloway
  • Indian Herbology of North America by Alma Hutchens
  • Sacred Plant Medicine: The Wisdom in Native American Herbalism by Stephen Harrod Buhner
  • How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine and Crafts by Frances Densmore
  • Myths and Tales of the Southeastern Indians by John Swanton
  • Native American Stories by Michael Caduto and Joseph Bruchac

Specifically Awesome

(Focuses on a Particular Tribe)

  • A Sacred Path: The Way of the Muscogee Creeks by Jean and Joyotpaul Chaudhuri (Mvskoke)
  • Creation Myths and Legends of the Creek Indians by Bill Grantham (Mvskoke)
  • Creek Religion and Medicine by John Swanton (Mvskoke)
  • Creek Indian Medicine Ways: The Enduring Power of Mvskoke Religion by David Lewis Jr. (Mvskoke)
  • The Wind is My Mother: The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman by Bear Heart (Mvskoke)
  • Native Plants Native Healing: Traditional Muskogee Way by Tis Mal Crow (Mvskoke)
  • Totkv Mocvse/New Fire: Creek Folktales by Earnest Gouge (Mvskoke)
  • The Creeks by Michael Green (Mvskoke)
  • The Cherokee Herbal: Native Plant Medicine from the Four Directions by J. T. Garrett (Tsalagi)
  • The Scalpel and the Silver Bear: The First Navajo Woman Surgeon Combines Western Medicine and Traditional Healing by Lori Arviso Alvord (Dine)
  • Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People by Elizabeth Fenn (Nueta)
  • Dreams and Thunder: Stories, Poems and the Sun Dance Opera by Zitkala-Sa (Yankton Sioux)
  • Uprising: The Pueblo Indians and the First American War for Religious Freedom by Jake Pace (Pueblo)
  • Black Elk Speaks: The Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux (Oglala Sioux)

Preserve Triple Blade Razor Review

Brands Preserve Preserve Recycled Plastic Eco Friendly Triple Razor

So, recently I’ve been trying to go more eco friendly. Turning off the AC, using reusable bags when shopping, recycling everything that I possibly can, etc etc. Razors and menstrual related waste are two of the biggest throw-aways as far as hygiene goes for me. So, I’ll be switching to a menstrual cup (either the Vida cup or the Blossom cup since they are both in my price range) and doing reviews of those as well.

Anyway, to the point! I recently purchased a Preserve razor because it was the most eco friendly razor I could find without switching to a straight razor (I’m so clumsy that there’s no way I would make it out of that alive) or to a safety razor (which can get kind of expensive and again, they are crazy sharp and I am a clutz).

Preserve makes their handles from recycled plastic from yogurt cups and other sources, and the only part that you need ever replace are the razor heads. With proper care, a single razor head can last for months.

They also have a program called Gimme 5, where if you recycle 5 preserve products, you get a razor free.  Now, Preserve makes way more than just razors. They make toothbrushes, kitchen ware, tote bags, and much more. On their website, a Preserve razor goes for 8.50, and you get to pick the color as well as getting 2 blade heads. I bought mine off of ebay for 6.15. I also plan to buy one of their toothbrushes as soon as I can afford it.

They recently came out with a 5 blade razor, but I have the triple blade razor and I’ve got to say that performance-wise it is pretty amazing. It’s sharp but not to the point where I’m afraid I’ll cut myself, comfortable to hold, and overall just a quality product. It works great, getting even those stubborn hairs. And I get to feel good about having helped the environment in some small way, too. I highly recommend these razors to anyone who is eco-conscious but like me, not really brave enough to try a straight razor.

Overall, I give it a 4/5. The only reason it doesn’t have a 5/5 is that it isn’t the cheapest razor out there. But all in all its pretty fantastic for the price.

Crystal Deodorant Stone Review 

This is a crystal deodorant stone! I first found out about this amazing product through my herbalism course and I purchased the above brand from my academy’s shop here.

I was skeptical at first, but I suffered from an awful underarm rash which consisted of hundreds of extremely  painful sores and boils on my armpits, and every commercial deodorant I had tried only activated the condition. So, I was pretty much willing to try anything, and this little guy was only 8 dollars. What did I have to lose?

I can say with zero reservations that this is one product I will use for the rest of my life. I purchased mine in August of 2015, and a month later I also got one for my spouse. We have not bought a single stick of deodorant since then. Not only have I been rash free, but also body odor free for over a year now!

It is a safe, natural, eco friendly  alternative to chemical commercial deodorants that produce plastic and harmful chemical wastes.

It can last anywhere from one to three years without replacing, and to use it all you have to do is run it under cold water and rub it on your armpits.

Instead of just treating the symptoms of body odor, the Crystal is an antibacterial and anti-fungal, so it actually completely removes the bacteria that causes body odor, as well as exfoliates the sensitive skin of the underarms.

I have worn one application of the stone to a manual labor job where I would swear like crazy for hours on end and I still didn’t smell! It’s also held up to running, walking, outdoor labor, intensive housework and cleaning. It’s seriously awesome and I am so thankful for it!

It has saved me a lot of money and a lot of pain in the last year. I highly recommend it and give it a 5/5. 

Short Reviews of Popular TV Shows

This is just a short post about all the shows I’ve binge watched on netflix and their pros and cons, taking racism, sexism and heteronormality into account. As you can imagine, I have some words to say and stuff to warn people about. I will be adding on to this list as I watch more.

Hemlock Grove

Pros: Werewolves, Lots of cool Roma culture, Genetic Experiments, the actress who plays Destiny is Mohawk Native American and Bisexual.

Cons: Pretty sexist, Heteronormative, Only really good female characters are portrayed as freaks, bitches or sluts, Racism towards the Roma people. All white cast except for Dr. Pryce, who is portrayed as the stereotypical ‘genius Asian doctor with little to no actual personality’ and the Rumancek family, who are Roma, but the actors who play the Rumancek family are not actually Roma.

 

Stranger Things

Pros: Great plot, Monsters, Sci Fi, Horror, Cute kids being badasses

Cons: Only one POC character who is portrayed as a huge jerk, Only 3 female characters and all of them are portrayed as either ‘insane’ or slutty. Creepy stalking is justified and viewed as ‘okay’ by one protagonist. Abusive relationships are romanticized.

 

The Almighty Johnsons

Pros: Awesome Norse mythology come to life, It’s about New Zealanders, Cool Maori culture stuff in the second season.

Cons: Super sexist, views women as either ‘fuckable’, ‘bitches’ or ‘useful’. Only 4 POC characters, and 3 aren’t introduced until season 2 and are only in a few episodes. All main characters are guys, the goddesses get way less screen time. The Maori people in the show are portrayed as potheads, rude and disrespectful to women. The one POC girl in the show is treated like shit, repeatedly. In one episode one of the characters participates in the racist act of Redface.

 

Lost Girl

Pros: PANSEXUAL POLY AWESOMENESS! Lots of magic and mythology. All about the Fae. Takes place in Canada. Has two female leads. Has kickass dwarf representation (seriously, Trick is so hot and buff!) and POC representation in Hale (who is an awesome Siren from one of the most important Fae families, who are all also POC)

Cons: Only like…one POC character. On more than one occasion they take native and indigenous cultural stories and write them off as ‘fae stuff’ (at one point there’s an Ixtab (which is a Mayan Goddess) and she is portrayed as a ‘suicide fae’ who is a white girl.) Not a lot of diversity, 9/10 of the characters are white.

 

X Files

Pros: Lots of cool supernatural stuff, good humor, awesome plot. Scully is kickass.

Cons: Pretty sexist, Scully often treated badly, Super racist in regards to disrespect and portrayal of Native American cultures and traditions. No POC characters, except for minor characters that get zero screen time.

 

Supernatural

Pros: Awesome special effects, Good plot, Easy to get attached to the characters

Cons: Pretty negative portrayal of Native American cultures and traditions, Super Heteronormative, No female main characters, No POC main characters except for Kevin, who is a minor character that is promptly killed after like one and a half seasons and very little screen time.

 

Salem

Pros: Awesome kickass female leads, Woman power, Cool magick

Cons: Heteronormative, White cast, Only one POC character, Racism and violence towards Native American tribes in the area, Portrayal of the Natives as ‘wild animals’ and ‘savages’.

 

American Horror Story

Pros: Awesome plot, Cool characters, Positive Down Syndrome Representation

Cons: Abusive relationships are romanticized, Heteronormative, The only gay couple is murdered and raped in season one, Lots of Racism and violence towards POC peoples, Lots of rape, Pretty much a fully white cast until Coven, and then only two main POC characters and both are portrayed as ‘bitchy’, are treated violently and ultimately killed either in that season or in Queenie’s case, the next season in Hotel. The actress with Down Syndrome who appears as a regular in every season is almost always killed off.

 

Penny Dreadful

Pros: Cool main character with psychic powers

Cons: Extreme violence and racism towards Native American peoples, All white cast, Heteronormative, Boring plot

 

Doctor Who

Pros: SPACE! TIME TRAVEL! Cool female supporting characters.

Cons: Pretty much an all white cast, except for the occasional one episode appearance and Mickey and Martha’s short time as companions. Heteronormative, practically no LGBT representation.

 

Sherlock

Pros: Awesome mystery stuff, Great plot, Awesome characters

Cons: All white cast except for the one episode minor character appearances, Heteronormative in canon story (fandom is pretty much set on sherlock and john being a couple, and there are very not so subtle undertones, but nothing ever officially announced or portrayed in the show). Only one or two female characters and are only minor and have very little screen time.