Tali Nohkati, A Piece of Earth Under the Stars: Tome II
In the beginning, a woman unrolls her buffalo hide after a long day of walking. She lays down and gives birth to twins while the Moon and Coyote look on. The Moon steals away the newborns to be the guardians of dawn and dusk. Coyote takes the woman’s first-born son away. That boy will grow to be the great chief Tali Nohkati: Tali leads his people away from disease and starvation to live among the Coruba Tribe. They live in peace until a volcano erupts. In the ruins they find a miracle child named Chepi. Chepi becomes central to the tribe’s journey into the unknown.
Tali Nohkati: A Piece of Earth Under the Stars: Tome II is by children’s author Koza Belleli. Originally written in French, this novel was translated into English by Dorine Heller. Though the location of Koza’s legend is unspecified, the themes and characters are reminiscent of North American Indigenous People. This adventure story is fun and whimsical, and the writing is easy to understand. At times, the dialogue is off-putting because it unnecessarily uses broken English. I read the English translation, so I am uncertain if the author intended the dialogue to appear condescending to Indigenous Peoples.
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