13 Original Clan Mothers, by Jamie Sans


Sams, a Native American medicine teacher, is probably best known for developing “medicine cards” and “sacred path cards” as tools for self-discovery. In this book, she draws on her own 18-year search for spiritual truth. Sams’s spiritual understanding comes from Native American traditions but is not derived solely from the teachings of any one tribe. The primary focus of her spiritual quest involves the wisdom of 13 “original clan mothers”–described as the 13 aspects of the feminine principle of life. Each clan mother represents a lesson in the development of feminine wisdom. Symbolic stories demonstrate the path to self-knowledge taken by each clan mother. Sams’s book can serve as a useful guide for those interested in pursuing self-transformation. It should be of value to libraries with collections on Native American and women’s spirituality.
– Elizabeth Salt, Otterben Coll. Lib., Westerville, Ohio

Personal Notes:

Understanding indigenous perspectives and culture is crucial for the unfolding of my research. Bringing native teachers, writers and stories to my research will allow me to broaden my understanding of culture and design outside the confines of their formal definitions. In this book Sans talks about 13 main principles of feminine wisdom. The word feminine is not attached to the female gender , but to guiding principles that can guide the creative side of any human. Because design requires creativity and is directly tied to the creation of new projects, I believe this book will bring clarity of important ways to practice and teach earth-centered design.


Sams, J. (1993). The 13 Original Clan Mothers (1st edition). Harper San Francisco.