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Sho-Ban woman shares book of grandfather's tales

October 26, 2013

Shoshone-Bannock tribal member Donna E. Houtz McArthur grew up hearing the stories of her grandfather Edward Edmo Sr. The stories, handed down orally from generation to generation, as is the tradition of tribes, inspired McArthur to write and publish a book this spring called: "When The Smoke Goes Straight Up"
- a compilation of 27 of her beloved grandfather's tales.
McArthur said her grandfather Edmo, a Shoshone-Bannock tribal member, was a grandson to Chief Arimo. He was a horseman and a cowboy who "had a love for telling stories."
Edmo worked with Dr. Sven Lijeblad, Swedish linguist, in the 1960s and 1970s in trying preserve the language and the history of the people.
"Our stories are sacred and were told by our great grandfathers and grandmothers, the elders of our tribe, to teach us about life and morals. It is up to us to try and save the Shoshone-Bannock stories and the history of our people so that it is never forgotten," she said.
McArthur incorporates the tribal language into the stories and the titles, saying, "Each story is like our languages. Each family might have the same basic story, but told in their own special way."
McArthur said that her grandfather often shared the stories with her and his other grandchildren during the winter months "when the smoke (qwi'ip) goes straight up into the night air" and that is how she came up with the title of her book.
For more of the story, see the print edition of the Morning News.

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