Novel by Ann Ahlswede: The Last Enemy

The Last Enemy is an engaging and compelling tale set in the southwest American frontier in the mid-nineteenth century. Jack, a nine year old boy, is captured from his frontier settlement by a Comanche raiding party. He is enslaved by the tribe, taught their ways, learns their language and culture, and becomes in many ways like his captors, forgetting much of his former life. After years he manages to escape, but kills a tribal member while escaping, creating lifelong enemies. We follow Jack through his many subsequent ordeals and his struggles to survive. We learn about life in the new state of Texas and in the mid-nineteenth century southwest region beyond, as well as the interplay of Native American life with the local Tejano and Mexican cultures and with the frontier life of the westward movement in general. We are given glimpses of the California gold rush, the impact of the Civil War on the southwest region, and gripping descriptions of frontier life and conflict. Through Jack’s eyes we meet a variety of interesting characters as they influence him and those he cares about in these turbulent and lawless times. And at the end, the reader is left to decide just who is the last enemy. A wonderful story, beautifully written.

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New Tribal Items: A Note About Tribal Jewelry

TRIBAL: This word, and its varied meanings, covers the entire world today. One of its meanings goes back many thousands of years. Beads are said to be the first artistic form man ever created, often by carving agate, serpentine and carnelian stones, or whatever petty stones they could find, always taking advantage of natural patterns and shapes in the stones. They are with us today in collections and still occasionally found at dig sites.

TRIBAL can mean artifacts found, created and worn by the various groups of humanity we call tribes. These artifacts can be made of stone, clay, lava rock, amber, shell, bone and whatever material was indigenous to the area where they lived. Later, with the coming of metals , bronze, copper, silver, tin, and all their alloys and embellishments, all these possibilities added to their remarkable skills and artistic achievements.

TRIBAL can also mean TRADE beads, the beautiful and colorful Venetian glass beads that were later sought after by the tribal people in exchange for gold and other treasures European royalty and traders valued.

Traded artifacts of any kind were worn, prized, traded to other tribes and often require soap and water and a good polishing when they come into the collections of modern man. But they are always prized, even when they show wear. They just tell a fascinating story and it is our pleasure to listen.

Details: “World Traveler” Bracelet

This  beautiful amber/copal bead as shown in my #B593NA bracelet deserves a little more comment. It is probably about 200 years old or older and highly prized by the tribal people of the Middle East, Tibet and Nepal. These beads are usually unadorned but this beauty bears the proud, detailed craftsmanship of its tribal owner. It is a prize, seldom seen and hard to find. I have had it for some time and now seems to be a good time to offer it to an appreciative new owner.  It is a true piece of ancient history.