The Way of the Eagle:
An Early California Journey of Awakening
by D.E. Lamont
The Way of the Eagle (136 pages) is illustrated by talented California artist and marine mammal advocate J.H. Soeder. He also created the beautiful cover design you see above.
I invite you to explore this website and sign the Guestbook. Also visit my Journal, a blog discussing fascinating subjects and ideas like spirituality, the Native American way of life, the book, and storytelling, to name a few.
The Setting. Long before Hollywood, Beverly Hills and "ValSpeak," a creative, resourceful and spiritual people inhabited Southern California. From the Santa Monica Mountains, Simi Hills, and Chatsworth bluffs all the way south through the Los Angeles basin to Aliso Creek in Orange County, they lived a rich life in their warm, bountiful environment.
Like many other original peoples, the Tongva had a strong value system and rules of behavior based on their spiritual beliefs, their care for their families and community, and their respect for each other and for all of creation. Passed down from generation to generation was the caution, "Take only what is needed; do not waste; treat all life with respect."
The Tongva - "People of the Earth" -improvised lengthy and wildly creative song stories, wove fine, intricate baskets, and created rock and cave art. They traded their crafts, carvings and jewelry with each other and with neighboring tribes such as the Chumash to the north.
Their way of life was in many ways more formal than many modern lifestyles. Boys, before they could be accepted as responsible adults by their community, had to undergo rigorous education and training, as well as spiritual rituals and trials of courage and endurance. The girls went through their own initiation rites upon reaching puberty.
Praise for the Story
"This is a wonderful story that illuminates the life of Native Americans at an earlier, more spiritual time. I loved the fact that the author was able to use actual Indian language (Tongva) throughout the book (glossary included), basically as synonyms, so they blended easily into the narrative. Lamont has done her research and the land, plants and culture are all described beautifully. The illustrations are superb and enhance the text. I recommend this book to children of any age who are interested in Native Americans, particularly of the West Coast of the now United States. How quickly we forget what life was like only a few centuries ago."
- Alicia Aaronowitz, June 2013
"Read this book; then imagine what the world would be like if all our young people read it, understood it, and applied it. Imagine if we all did this and evolved into more highly spiritual beings capable of ethical actions which lead to stewardship, rather than destruction of our planet and species."
- Marcia E. Powell, Feb. 2013
"I found this 'journey' easy to follow, easy to enter into with Tacu, easy to rejoice, hurt, and cry with him on his path to maturity. The illustrations were well-executed and added visual delight to this fine book. This book is nearly flawless and I found few areas, if any, that I could comment on in the area of improvements. It was very inspirational."
- Judge's Commentary, 19th Annual Writer's
Digest Self-Published Book Awards, Jan. 2012
"This is a wonderful story that thoroughly entertains while teaching spiritual values and some history of an important culture in our world. It should be in every school library; it's relevant for adults but how important for our children growing up today with similar moral issues, and what an aesthetic way to help them as they struggle to find themselves and their own truths rather than just going along with the crowd. The artwork and story are in beautiful harmony."
- Mo Bairdi
"The spiritual tale of a young Native American from the days before the Spanish arrived in California.... There is hardly a word out of place ... what is most commendable is the precision and unpretentiousness of the prose while still managing to invoke the intense quality of Tacu's visionary quest and moving nature of his movement."
- Kirkus Reviews
"The author deftly weaves an exquisitely rich tapestry of spiritual wisdom, adorned with ornate imagery, and intertwined with the profoundly learned wealth of lives lived close to the beating heart of Mother Earth."
- Barbara Anne Dunn, Founder: DarkHorse Ranch;
recipient of the IGHA Legion of St. Francis Award
for her work in equine welfare
"I really enjoyed this book, and felt like it was a real tribute to a culture and a people that are worth recognizing and honoring... The author weaves in the spiritual beliefs of the culture and parallels that with how important self-reliance is, [as] shown through Tacu's journey. The author's writing style comes across as effortless... when I was reading, it seemed as if I were right there, finding the path to my own self-reliance along with Tacu..." 5 Stars.
- Lindsay Horne, Creator of the "Everyday is an
Adventure" Book Blog and Teacher
"The story itself is rich and warm...so real to me are the characters of this time period. I loved the way you take the reader through the awakening journey. I am sensing with the characters and move with them as the lessons play out. A rich, clear journey you gave me."
- Saiyo Shaw, Master stone cutter; recipient of the
Colorado Heritage Award for forwarding the work
of her father, a Delaware/Lenape artisan