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Ray A. Young Bear Portrait

An enrolled member of the Mesquakie Nation of central Iowa, Ray Young Bear grew up on the tribal lands near Tama. He is not only a poet and a novelist but also a performing artist. With his wife Stella, whose bead work is depicted on the cover of The Invisible Musician (1990), he founded the Black Eagle Child Dance Troup, for which Young Bear plays drums. Under the Woodland Singers title, they have recorded traditional Native American songs. Young Bear has taught at several schools, including the University of Iowa; he also writes essays and editorials for the Des Moines Sunday Register. His poetry frequently takes up contemporary subjects in the light of our historical inheritance and in the context of American Indian mythology.