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Braiding Sweetgrass

Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
Narrated by: Robin Wall Kimmerer
Length: 16 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,904 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers.

In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as "the younger brothers of creation". As she explores these themes, she circles toward a central argument: The awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world. Once we begin to listen for the languages of other beings, we can begin to understand the innumerable life-giving gifts the world provides us and learn to offer our thanks, our care, and our own gifts in return.

©2013 Robin Wall Kimmerer (P)2016 Tantor

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Average Customer Ratings

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Many thanks for this gift

What did you like best about this story?

This book has changed me. Robin some how wove a beautiful story out of what she has learned from her culture, from science and her own experiences. I feel wiser, more aware, saddened and empowered to take responsibility for all the gifts that we were given. She has made me feel more connected to the earth than ever and I feel a sense of purpose and gratitude after hearing her speak.

What about Robin Wall Kimmerer’s performance did you like?

Extremely unique story-telling style. She tells the truth, it's breathtaking.

If you could give Braiding Sweetgrass a new subtitle, what would it be?

Our responsibilities as people of the earth

Any additional comments?

Thank you so much Robin. I feel enlightened and humbled after hearing you. I've stepped on a new path and can never turn back, thanks to your voice.

42 of 43 people found this review helpful

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I Recommend This Book To Everyone

Would you listen to Braiding Sweetgrass again? Why?

I would definitely listen again. The words of this book are in alignment with my values and it brings me hope to know others feel as I do. It is a good reminder to practice gratitude, do more for the planet and its teachers, and to not give into despair regarding the plight of humanity and the planet.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Braiding Sweetgrass?

The author does an amazing job of setting up the concept of the Windigo and it all comes together beautifully in her story of confronting the beast.

Have you listened to any of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

First performance from this author. She does an amazing job. Her voice is a little too soothing to enjoy the book in the car without the fear of falling asleep.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A journey back to gratitude.

Any additional comments?

One of the best audiobooks I have found on this site.

33 of 36 people found this review helpful

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Read this book!

More than just plants. This book is something we as a species should be proud of our gift of language. This book, I hope it makes it into the hands of people of all different types. It is so beautiful, scientific and community inspired.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

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Eloquent and inspirational

This book is so timely and yet timeless: weaving threads about native people's history with the land, science that elaborates, and personal memoir; all told in a wonderful voice. I rarely listen to an audiobook a second time, but I will absolutely listen to this again, and also give copies as gifts to friends.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

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Fabulous!

The beautiful writing and soothing narration of this book helped calm me on my hour-long commute in dense Houston traffic. But more importantly it inspired me to get back into the garden that I had forsaken after heavy Spring rains had turned it to a weedy jungle. I realize now my responsibility to care for my garden and see the reciprocal nature of my relationship to her.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Stunning and Important

This is a powerful telling journey into an old time tested way of being. I was gently taken by the hand in to a much deeper understanding of how earth and nature lives and works. It's fascinating and engaging and inspiring. I have better eyes to see and understand now. I highly recommend this pivotal book. Robin Kimmerer is truly a gift to us all and our planet.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Hands down one of the best books I have ever read!

Memoir, science, and ecological anthropology woven into pure poetry. Moving, reflective and inspiration! Incredibly crafted.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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A new favorite!

I enjoyed the writing and Robin Kimmerer's soothing voice very much. I especially enjoyed the content. Botany, ecology, science, and motherhood are all fascinating topics. Beautiful

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A deep dive to the sacredness of every day life

I loved this book. So much more than words can express. I felt like I was coming home. To a world where there is purpose in the rhythm of life and a deep understanding of the poignant relationship we have with our earth, our mother. A wonderful blend of personal narrative, science and myth. I highly recommend this book and hope many read it. A true medicine story.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Too Much Repetition

I believe all she says about ecology and conservation and I loved learning about sweet grass, cedars, maples, salamanders and more. However, I had to wade through the repetition of her unifying principle to get these stories. She was worse than Ayn Rand in making her point. She needs to understand that her audience is not stupid and do not need her ideas pounded into them.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Isabella
  • 03-25-18

Eloquently spoken, meditative story

The richness of Wall's words are spoken by her herself and so beautifully so. So many life lessons weaved amongst stories - it feels like coming home to yourself.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-15-18

The stories we need before trusting in science.

More satisfying than TV show or movie ever. I gave it a four (not five) stars, because I found the traditional gender roles mentioned to be quite out of place and hypocritical. But everything else was just what I needed to listen to in a senseful and reasonable way. A timely story full of learning, poetry and resonance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Cate
  • 03-01-19

beautiful, hopeful, moving

I loved listening to this book; it's so thoughtfully and beautifully written. it brought me to tears at times but is so full of hope and good sense. The author has a lovely voice and reads well. If only everyone could read it the world might be a better, safer place

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  • Pixieface
  • 02-05-19

Beautiful weaving of science and spirit

I loved this book. It was fascinating, compelling and inspirational. The reading by the author resonated with her insight and humanity.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-27-18

Softly powerful

Loved it. A mix of ancient ways, science, history, some the authors, some cultural, and the way Land is/has been treated.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-04-18

Outstanding

Outstanding teaching. From the heart, honed by a sharp mind and voiced beautifully. Much gratitude for this inspirational work that brings me so lovingly and with compassion to the challenges and joy of living, and reciprocating with that which gives us life.

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  • SwiftEE
  • 02-23-18

a breath of fresh air

beautifully written and beautifully read, a heartful mix of nature and indigenous wisdom. loved it

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  • Ellis Barnsley
  • 03-21-17

Wonderful memoir (plus) about connecting...

What did you like best about Braiding Sweetgrass? What did you like least?

I really enjoyed this book. I learned much even though it was very much a "motherly" text though it appears to start repeating around the 11 hour mark.

What does Robin Wall Kimmerer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Her voice... she reads just as I imagined.

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  • Joanne McInnes
  • 03-29-18

The Lost Tribe

What made the experience of listening to Braiding Sweetgrass the most enjoyable?

Listening to this beautiful work stirred me at a soul level. Indigenous people offered the world so much and it is disturbing that so much of their knowledge, wisdom and connection to the earth has been swept away in a white mans tsunami to control and dominate.
We have all lost our tribe and I believe that many of us are trying to find our way home.

What did you like best about this story?

Thank you Robin for sharing such beautiful stories and understandings of plants and nature.

What does Robin Wall Kimmerer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I love listening to books because it enters me on a different level. When I listen to something it is a whole body experience. When I read something it is more of a "Mind" experience.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Lost Tribe
How all of mankind longs for their tribe.

Any additional comments?

Love it and thank you. I have spent my life learning from horses and now share teachings from the lessons they have shared with me... very similar to the teachings of plants.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeremy Albertsen
  • 12-07-16

a wonderful gift of gratitude

A beautiful combination of knowledge and wisdom delivered with poetic grace. Thanks for this gift Robin .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • S. Chambers
  • 11-30-16

Beautiful collaboration of science Spirituality

Wonderful book and so well told by the author herself. Am excited to share with my friends and family. Thank you, Robin, for articulating so perfectly the struggles we face on these times and the loss of spirit connection to Mother Earth. I certainly am taking away some transformative ideas from this book and already conscious of the gratirude that is increasing within me for all that is given and am learning how to give back.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan J Rahily
  • 07-10-19

Important message

This book has such important messages for all people living in 1st world countries about how we could improve our relationship with nature and thereby help the planet. However, I felt it was a bit repetitive and could have done with some stricter editing.

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  • Marita
  • 06-11-19

Can't believe I tried to return it

I tried hard to return this book, but the Audible site wouldn't let me for some reason. Perhaps there is a limit on how many you can return - despite what they say on the website. Lucky for me it didn't work, so I kept on listening and before long couldn't stop. This book is quite meditative and gently takes you into that invisible world that's full of knowledge and connection - the real world. I feel greatly improved for having read this book, and will forever be conscious of the environment from now on.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-07-19

a beautiful and historical look into our earth

read with such a beautiful passion for the ways of our ancestors. informative and instructive! I cant help but feel my roots in mother earth grow deeper after reading this book. LOVE

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  • Nisha
  • 04-18-19

Incredible soulful book

LOVED IT.... alot, every world was beautiful, there where tears and an gentle awaking and I'm on the 3rd round. This should be a must read for schools.

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  • Melissa Moore
  • 02-15-19

The book for our times

I encourage everyone to read and share this gift of a book. Deeply wise and compassionate stories and teachings for a world on the edge. RWK writes beautifully and blends scientific wisdom, history and reflection in a very readable form. If all our leaders could pick up this book...we need such voices now. Deep gratitude to you Robin.

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  • James
  • 07-26-18

What A Lovely Story

Poetic and delivered with heart; I was sad when it had to come to a close
An potent and timely message too.
I highly recommend

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  • Katherine
  • 03-10-18

Wisdom that could live in us all.

Deep Gratitude to you Robin. This work has cracked me open again and again as you spoke truths that I know, I love and cherish. Grateful that your voice spoke such deliciously woven words that sing open hopefully many generations to come... that we may walk the soft green earth with sweetgrass to guide us.