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Braiding Sweetgrass

Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
Written by: Robin Wall Kimmerer
Narrated by: Robin Wall Kimmerer
Length: 16 hrs and 44 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers.

In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as "the younger brothers of creation". As she explores these themes, she circles toward a central argument: The awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world. Once we begin to listen for the languages of other beings, we can begin to understand the innumerable life-giving gifts the world provides us and learn to offer our thanks, our care, and our own gifts in return.

©2013 Robin Wall Kimmerer (P)2016 Tantor

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This book gave me peace.

Loved every bit of this book! So many questions answered! Beautiful writing! Kimmerer's voice was like a song to my sole. I laughed out loud and cried uncontrollably though the course of this book. It truly gave my heart the peace, and the answers my mind needed, in this crazy consumer world! Thank you Robin Wall Kimmerer for giving me the motivation to go on on my pursuit.
Magwitch!

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  • Jessica Mayer
  • 04-01-17

Many thanks for this gift

What did you like best about this story?

This book has changed me. Robin some how wove a beautiful story out of what she has learned from her culture, from science and her own experiences. I feel wiser, more aware, saddened and empowered to take responsibility for all the gifts that we were given. She has made me feel more connected to the earth than ever and I feel a sense of purpose and gratitude after hearing her speak.

What about Robin Wall Kimmerer’s performance did you like?

Extremely unique story-telling style. She tells the truth, it's breathtaking.

If you could give Braiding Sweetgrass a new subtitle, what would it be?

Our responsibilities as people of the earth

Any additional comments?

Thank you so much Robin. I feel enlightened and humbled after hearing you. I've stepped on a new path and can never turn back, thanks to your voice.

59 people found this helpful

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  • Hanifa
  • 30-12-16

I Recommend This Book To Everyone

Would you listen to Braiding Sweetgrass again? Why?

I would definitely listen again. The words of this book are in alignment with my values and it brings me hope to know others feel as I do. It is a good reminder to practice gratitude, do more for the planet and its teachers, and to not give into despair regarding the plight of humanity and the planet.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Braiding Sweetgrass?

The author does an amazing job of setting up the concept of the Windigo and it all comes together beautifully in her story of confronting the beast.

Have you listened to any of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

First performance from this author. She does an amazing job. Her voice is a little too soothing to enjoy the book in the car without the fear of falling asleep.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A journey back to gratitude.

Any additional comments?

One of the best audiobooks I have found on this site.

44 people found this helpful

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  • crabapple m
  • 31-10-16

Read this book!

More than just plants. This book is something we as a species should be proud of our gift of language. This book, I hope it makes it into the hands of people of all different types. It is so beautiful, scientific and community inspired.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Kaysi12
  • 18-10-16

Eloquent and inspirational

This book is so timely and yet timeless: weaving threads about native people's history with the land, science that elaborates, and personal memoir; all told in a wonderful voice. I rarely listen to an audiobook a second time, but I will absolutely listen to this again, and also give copies as gifts to friends.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Brian Turnwald
  • 01-09-16

Fabulous!

The beautiful writing and soothing narration of this book helped calm me on my hour-long commute in dense Houston traffic. But more importantly it inspired me to get back into the garden that I had forsaken after heavy Spring rains had turned it to a weedy jungle. I realize now my responsibility to care for my garden and see the reciprocal nature of my relationship to her.

22 people found this helpful

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  • cedar
  • 27-11-16

Stunning and Important

This is a powerful telling journey into an old time tested way of being. I was gently taken by the hand in to a much deeper understanding of how earth and nature lives and works. It's fascinating and engaging and inspiring. I have better eyes to see and understand now. I highly recommend this pivotal book. Robin Kimmerer is truly a gift to us all and our planet.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-12-16

Hands down one of the best books I have ever read!

Memoir, science, and ecological anthropology woven into pure poetry. Moving, reflective and inspiration! Incredibly crafted.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Gail
  • 01-12-16

A new favorite!

I enjoyed the writing and Robin Kimmerer's soothing voice very much. I especially enjoyed the content. Botany, ecology, science, and motherhood are all fascinating topics. Beautiful

8 people found this helpful

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  • Marianna
  • 06-11-16

A deep dive to the sacredness of every day life

I loved this book. So much more than words can express. I felt like I was coming home. To a world where there is purpose in the rhythm of life and a deep understanding of the poignant relationship we have with our earth, our mother. A wonderful blend of personal narrative, science and myth. I highly recommend this book and hope many read it. A true medicine story.

7 people found this helpful

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  • booksteph
  • 13-05-17

Beautiful wisdom

A truly moving experience to have the author, with her own sweet voice, show me another way to look at the world and all of us in it. It reminded me of truths I had discovered when I was younger but had forgotten, and showed me many many other new ones.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Isabella
  • 25-03-18

Eloquently spoken, meditative story

The richness of Wall's words are spoken by her herself and so beautifully so. So many life lessons weaved amongst stories - it feels like coming home to yourself.

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  • Milkmoon Mama
  • 24-02-20

Spellbinding

I’m late to the party but...this book. I started reading it but then switched to audible due to time constraints and I just wanted to keep going with it. Once I did there was no going back. Listening to it read by the author adds an extra magic to it. I was arrested, spellbound, heartbroken, filled with wonder and love and grief. So beautiful and so important. If you love the Earth, if you want to remember how we are supposed to be living on it, read this book. Even better, listen to it.

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  • Pixieface
  • 05-02-19

Beautiful weaving of science and spirit

I loved this book. It was fascinating, compelling and inspirational. The reading by the author resonated with her insight and humanity.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-06-18

Softly powerful

Loved it. A mix of ancient ways, science, history, some the authors, some cultural, and the way Land is/has been treated.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-04-18

The stories we need before trusting in science.

More satisfying than TV show or movie ever. I gave it a four (not five) stars, because I found the traditional gender roles mentioned to be quite out of place and hypocritical. But everything else was just what I needed to listen to in a senseful and reasonable way. A timely story full of learning, poetry and resonance.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-04-18

Outstanding

Outstanding teaching. From the heart, honed by a sharp mind and voiced beautifully. Much gratitude for this inspirational work that brings me so lovingly and with compassion to the challenges and joy of living, and reciprocating with that which gives us life.

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  • fiona
  • 21-04-20

Beautiful and heartfelt book

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this interesting and heartfelt book. The narration by the author was lovely but would have been improved with pauses between the chapters.

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  • Ali
  • 27-02-20

Beautiful, enriching and important

such an incredible book. I feel grateful to be given such an insight into indigenous ways of knowing as well of nugets of knowledge on habitats and species. feel I have gained much from listening to this . A beautiful, powerful and poetic book.

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  • tamara
  • 02-11-19

An honourable fusion of botany and poetry

This book, much like the rest of her work whether it's essays or interviews, is beautiful because of its details, story making and big picture view. I loved her feminine take on the natural world. She makes science feel sensual and plants feel like your friends. Very informative and a deep inquiry into indigenous culture, plant kingdoms, parenting and independence.

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  • CathH
  • 25-10-19

SPELLBINDING

This book is a life changer. Poetic, scientific, spiritual and cultural - must read Again

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  • Joanne McInnes
  • 29-03-18

The Lost Tribe

What made the experience of listening to Braiding Sweetgrass the most enjoyable?

Listening to this beautiful work stirred me at a soul level. Indigenous people offered the world so much and it is disturbing that so much of their knowledge, wisdom and connection to the earth has been swept away in a white mans tsunami to control and dominate.
We have all lost our tribe and I believe that many of us are trying to find our way home.

What did you like best about this story?

Thank you Robin for sharing such beautiful stories and understandings of plants and nature.

What does Robin Wall Kimmerer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I love listening to books because it enters me on a different level. When I listen to something it is a whole body experience. When I read something it is more of a "Mind" experience.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Lost Tribe
How all of mankind longs for their tribe.

Any additional comments?

Love it and thank you. I have spent my life learning from horses and now share teachings from the lessons they have shared with me... very similar to the teachings of plants.

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  • Jeremy Albertsen
  • 07-12-16

a wonderful gift of gratitude

A beautiful combination of knowledge and wisdom delivered with poetic grace. Thanks for this gift Robin .

1 person found this helpful

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  • S. Chambers
  • 30-11-16

Beautiful collaboration of science Spirituality

Wonderful book and so well told by the author herself. Am excited to share with my friends and family. Thank you, Robin, for articulating so perfectly the struggles we face on these times and the loss of spirit connection to Mother Earth. I certainly am taking away some transformative ideas from this book and already conscious of the gratirude that is increasing within me for all that is given and am learning how to give back.

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  • lizzy
  • 08-05-20

Absolutely incredible!

It’s non fiction though written (and read by the author) so vividly, magically and poetically like a novel. But it’s not, it’s real and it’s beautiful. I have learnt SO much, both in my brain and my heart, from this book. Thank you.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-03-20

Absolutely recommended!

This book was so beautifully written and read aloud, that I felt as though I was immersed in a beautiful, fictional tale, yet I was learning all about ecosystems, botany, biology and indigenous culture and perspectives. Robin shares her scientific and indigenous knowledge and weaves them together by way of her vocational and life experience, wonderful story telling ability, soothing voice and way with words. I adored listening to this book.

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  • jane
  • 04-03-20

My new favourite book, heartwarming

Life changing for me, inspiring me to open my heart further to the natural world and bring my gifts forward

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  • Tess Holderness
  • 26-02-20

Special

Beautifully written, thought provoking, challenging at times yet uplifting. Highlights a positive potential pathway forward, sowing the seeds of change.

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  • Jade
  • 19-11-19

Such an important book

This is one of the most important books of our times. Robin speaks beautifully and passionately about what it means to live in harmony with the earth and each other. I think everyone needs to listen to this book and take its messages on board.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-10-19

Soul Food

Listening to Robin speak of the giving of the land and the relationship her people hold with nature is inspiring and heart warming.

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  • citythinker
  • 24-09-19

Poetic Science from an Indigenous scholar!

A beautiful, calm narration that weaves through personal narrative, scientific factoids, Indigenous storytelling, and poetic artistry. Great for anyone! Highly recommended. I will listen again as there was so much information to glean.

Thanks, Robin Wall Kimmerer, for your work that is scholarly, poetic, and accessible - a rare feat. And to add Indigenous knowledge systems and ancient storytelling? A true future classic. Now I'll listen to your other works!