The Shaman's Dilemma
The exhilaration that Pa-mi had felt earlier had dissipated. Something was wrong. Something indefinable; it gnawed at his bowels. There was a premonition of—bad fortune—no, danger. Yes, that’s what it was: Danger! At that moment, he felt his foot touch a soft spot in the narrow path, and before he could step back onto firm ground he was slipping on his back down the steep rock-covered slope.
Shaman Pa-mi is one of the Kopu, a small tribe nestled in the Yunnan mountains. His people face the threat of losing their traditions when an American missionary family comes to Hsinshao; already the village is divided between those who listen to them and those, like him, who reject them. When Pa-mi plans to ambush a Chinese caravan, he injures himself badly. It will take friendship, communication, and understanding across cultural boundaries for the Kopu and the Americans to save him, and ultimately, when the Communists learn of the missionaries’ presence in Hsinshao, in return to save the entire family.
Filled with emotion, grace, and the urgency of events unfolding as vividly now as they had in the past, Hatton brings to life an action-packed true story and gives voice to a people otherwise overlooked in history and literature.
At the age of two years, Howard Hatton went with his missionary parents and siblings to live in a small tribal village high up in the mountains of Yunnan Province in southwest China. The village of Hsinshao, inhabited by the Kopu tribe, was little Howie’s Shangri-La for four wonderful years. But in 1934, Mao Tse Tung’s army marched north of the village, and a group of Communist soldiers was sent to capture them.
Herein lies his story.
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In the Press:
Centre Daily Times, May 17, 2015