mm_cvr.jpg (263166 bytes) FROM THE BOOK COVER:

Our Lives in Our Hands presents the multi-generational story of the Micmacs' changing relationship to the craft of  basketmaking. Traditionally, Micmacs made baskets not for the sake of art and posterity, but out of economic necessity. Recently, however, there has been a new appreciation of the beauty, durability, and utility of the baskets by both Micmacs and others. According to one young basketmaker, "Nowadays, people look at you differently when you're good at this craft--with respect." An historical overview of basketry and profiles of individual basketmakers are enhanced by photographs taken by master basketmaker Donald Sanipass, former Aroostook Band President.

Click here for information about the film, Our Lives in Our Hands

By Bunny McBride,

Photographs by Donald Sanipass

Tilbury House & Nimbus, 1990

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"A fascinating book about art and the importance of self-determination."   Bloomsbury Review

"A tribute to the human spirit which endured long enough for a shameful badge of poverty to become recognized as art. . . . The book is a gift to the state and the nation, a recognition of the importance of the age-old union of hand and wood and the enduring power—and elegant grace—of a basic survival craft."    Kennebec Journal

"An important historic and visual glimpse at an under-valued and under-reported chapter of Maine’s history. It should be in every school library."   Maine Times

"An especially important book [whose] royalties will be donated to the Aroostook Micmac Council’s permanent basket collection and will also help to set up basketry workshops for young Micmacs."  Yankee Magazine

"The book offers an excellent short history of the tribe and its basketry tradition with rare, antique illustrations." Down East

"A beautiful exhibit catalog . . . it contains an informative historical essay on the Micmacs and biographies of contemporary Micmac basket makers." The Times Record

"More than a documentation of things crafted," the book is "finely and lovingly crafted. . . . . Far more than an affordable paperback coffee table volume, it is a book about people. Bunny McBride appropriately gives the credit for the story to its subjects, the Micmac basketmakers. They and their work inspired her to devote the better part of a decade to collaborating on a tribal project that includes this book, a museum-quality collection of basketry, workshops and demonstrations by basketmakers, a documentary film and more." "The book is straightforward and does not shrink from the reality of hardships experienced by the people it portrays, but it is not judgmental in its approach. It paints a picture that is vivid and richly decorated with detail." It is "a book for anyone interested in indigenous culture, regional history, nature, art/craft, tools, people, trees. Get it, read it, share it."   Maine Progressive