Native American art; Song from the Earth: American Indian Painting, by Jamake Highwater. Boston: New York Graphic Society. $22.50 in hard cover, $12.95 in paperback.

By , Henrietta Buckmaster is editor of the Monitor's Home Forum page

American Indian painting is 20,000 years old. This allows modern Indian painting to be called a "revival." But early in the 20th century this "revival" was siphoned through art schools run by white people, though the art itself managed to cling to the immemorial Indian attitude to life -- living in harmony with natural forces.

It still does. Though it haas acquired a greater ease with European influences, it reflects its own ethos; young artists are examining where they came from and who they are, with sensibilities carefully honed. Their questions , their dialogues with themselves are very rich parts of this exceptionally fine and eloquent book -- lavishly illustrated.

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