NICKOMMOH! Atheneum Books, Illustrated by Marcia Sewall
Long before the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving at Plymouth, the Native
Americans of the area celebrated the harvest during a feast called Nickommoh,
meaning "give away" or "exchange." The pilgrims' Thanksgiving was actually more
similar to this traditional Native American celebration than to the holiday we celebrate
today. Jackie French Koller's festive prose poem brings to life the rhythms of this
harvest celebration as the People come together from villages far and near to
construct sweat lodges, eat turkey and sweet cakes, play games, and dance
beneath the star blanket that Moon Sister has drawn across the sky. Marcia Sewall
uses her considerable knowledge of the Narragansett people to portray in striking
pictures the ancient patterns of our first purely American holiday.
Publisher's Weekly Starred Review!
"In prose, with the cadence of a drumbeat, the author reveals the rhythms of Narragansett life, . . . Sewall's
scratchboard and gouache illustrations convey both simplicity and complexity. Even as she portrays
individuals -- men cutting poles for the great lodge, women covering poles with bark, children playing
tug-of-war -- her compositions build a unity among the characters. Almost hypnotic in their power, art and
text are infused with the communal spirit of Thanksgiving.."
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