A Measure of Our Times
Review Notation: A Measure of Our Times...

by Rudy James
(ThlauGoo YailthThlee -- The First and Oldest Raven)

Wolfhouse Publishing

An "action-adventure" story finally told from the viewpoint of an indigenous author, Devilfish Bay will delight readers old and young. In addition to the rapid pace with which this magnificent tale of courage and resolve is rendered, readers will find here a new entry into the ways of communion and reflection that are the Tlingit peoples'.

The ancestors of Rudy James (ThlauGoo YailthThlee -- The First and Oldest Raven), met up with vibrant adventures, over three-hundred years ago, and in this book, the author brings each account to life, offering new vistas into tribal law, spirituality, and the earth around the Tlingit. In fact, according to the author, major events that appear as part of the story in this book are taken from carvings in marble and rock where the legends are preserved around tribal lands in Shakan, Alaska. This is oral tradition in one of its most accessible forms.

Illustrations by four different artists, including the author, enhance the tale and add a visual dimension to many of the basic rituals described here. As there are also maps, this is a valuable text for the classroom, and one which will defy many of the mistaken myths about native peoples.

A long-time Native Rights activist and advocate of the Traditional Tribal Law and Justice systems, the political work of Rudy James has made international headlines. His Tlingit name and title were foretold in dreams, and only James may act as First and Oldest Raven during his life-time.

Devilfish Bay honors both the present-day work of James and his people, as well as the ancestral heritage from which it stems. We recommend this work highly, especially as a required text for high school and undergraduate classroom use.

Review by Emmanuela de Léon

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