"Do not begrudge the white man his presence on this land. Though he doesn't know it yet, he has come here to learn from us."
-- A Shoshone elder
Black Elk of the Sioux has been recognized as one of the truly remarkable men of his time in the matter of religious belief and practice. Shortly before his death in August, 1950, when he was the keeper of the sacred pipe, he said, It is my prayer that, through our sacred pipe, and through this book in which I shall explain what our pipe really is, peace may come to those peoples who can understand, and understanding which must be of the heart and not of the head alone. Then they will realize that we Indians know the One true God, and that we pray to Him continually.
Black Elk was the only qualified priest of the older Oglala Sioux still living when The Sacred Pipe was written. This is his book: he gave it orally to Joseph Epes Brown during the latter's eight month's residence on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where Black Elk lived. Beginning with the story of White Buffalo Cow Woman's first visit to the Sioux to give them the sacred pip, Black Elk describes and discusses the details and meanings of the seven rites, which were disclosed, one by one, to the Sioux through visions. He takes the reader through the sun dance, the purification rite, the keeping of the soul, and other rites, showing how the Sioux have come to terms with God and nature and their fellow men through a rare spirit of sacrifice and determination.
The wakan Mysteries of the Siouan peoples have been a subject of interest and study by explorers and scholars from the period of earliest contact between whites and Indians in North America, but Black Elk's account is without doubt the most highly developed on this religion and cosmography. The Sacred Pipe, published as volume thirty-six in the Civilization of the American Indian Series, will be greeted enthusiastically by students of comparative religion, ethnologists, historians, philosophers, and everyone interested in American Indian life.
Long before it came to be known as Duluth, the land at the western tip of Lake Superior was known to the Ojibwe as Onigamiising, "the place of the small portage." There the Ojibwe lived in keeping with the seasons, moving among different camps for hunting and fishing, for cultivating and gathering, for harvesting wild rice and maple sugar. In Onigamiising Linda LeGarde Grover accompanies us through this cycle of the seasons, one year in a lifelong journey on the path to Mino Bimaadiziwin, the living of a good life.
In fifty short essays, Grover reflects on the spiritual beliefs and everyday practices that carry the Ojibwe through the year and connect them to this northern land of rugged splendor. As the four seasons unfold--from Ziigwan (Spring) through Niibin and Dagwaagin to the silent, snowy promise of Biboon--the award-winning author writes eloquently of the landscape and the weather, work and play, ceremony and tradition and family ways, from the homey moments shared over meals to the celebrations that mark life's great events. Now a grandmother, a Nokomis, beginning the fourth season of her life, Grover draws on a wealth of stories and knowledge accumulated over the years to evoke the Ojibwe experience of Onigamiising, past and present, for all time.
For centuries indigenous communities of North America have used carriers to keep their babies safe. Among the Indians of the Great Plains, rigid cradles are both practical and symbolic, and many of these cradleboards--combining basketry and beadwork--represent some of the finest examples of North American Indian craftsmanship and decorative art. This lavishly illustrated volume is the first full-length reference book to describe baby carriers of the Lakota, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and many other Great Plains cultures.Author Deanna Tidwell Broughton, a member of the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation and a sculptor of miniature cradles, draws from a wealth of primary sources--including oral histories and interviews with Native artists--to explore the forms, functions, and symbolism of Great Plains cradleboards. As Broughton explains, the cradle was vital to a Native infant's first months of life, providing warmth, security, and portability, as well as a platform for viewing and interacting with the outside world for the first time. Cradles and cradleboards were not only practical but also symbolic of infancy, and each tribe incorporated special colors, materials, and ornaments into their designs to imbue their baby carriers with sacred meaning. Hide, Wood, and Willow reveals the wide variety of cradles used by thirty-two Plains tribes, including communities often ignored or overlooked, such as the Wichita, Lipan Apache, Tonkawa, and Plains M tis. Each chapter offers information about the tribe's background, preferred types of cradles, birth customs, and methods for distinguishing the sex of the baby through cradle ornamentation. Despite decades of political and social upheaval among Plains tribes, the significance of the cradle endures. Today, a baby can still be found wrapped up and wide-eyed, supported by a baby board. With its blend of stunning full-color images and detailed information, this book is a fitting tribute to an important and ongoing tradition among indigenous cultures.
An alternative and unorthodox view of the colonization of the Americas by Europeans is offered in this concise history. Eurocentric studies of the conquest of the Americas present colonization as a civilizing force for good, and the native populations as primitive or worse. Colonization is seen as a mutually beneficial process, in which "civilization" was brought to the natives who in return shared their land and cultures. The opposing historical camp views colonization as a form of genocide in which the native populations were passive victims overwhelmed by European military power. In this fresh examination, an activist and historian of native descent argues that the colonial powers met resistance from the indigenous inhabitants and that these confrontations shaped the forms and extent of colonialism. This account encompasses North and South America, the development of nation-states, and the resurgence of indigenous resistance in the post-World War II era.
Drawing on the remembrances of elders who were born in the early 1900s and saw the last masked Yup'ik dances before missionary efforts forced their decline, Agayuliyararput is a collection of first-person accounts of the rich culture surrounding Yup'ik masks. Stories by thirty-three elders from all over southwestern Alaska, presented in parallel Yup'ik and English texts, include a wealth of information about the creation and function of masks and the environment in which they flourished. The full-length, unannotated stories are complete with features of oral storytelling such as repetition and digression; the language of the English translation follows the Yup'ik idiom as closely as possible.
Reminiscences about the cultural setting of masked dancing are grouped into chapters on the traditional Yup'ik ceremonial cycle, the use of masks, life in the qasgiq (communal men's house), the supression and revival of masked dancing, maskmaking, and dance and song. Stories are grouped geographically, representing the Yukon, Kuskokwim, and coastal areas. The subjects of the stories and the masks made to accompany them are the Arctic animals, beings, and natural forces on which humans depended.
This book will be treasured by the Yup'ik residents of southwestern Alaska and an international audience of linguists, folklorists, anthropologists, and art historians.
Today, two health structures exist on the Peigan reserve. One is based on Blackfoot culture, and the other is based on European theories of health and healing. Although both methods are used on the reserve, the government only acknowledges the European approach. This book describes Blackfoot healing traditions, their spiritual foundations, and their historical development in great detail.
Akak'stiman shows how Blackfoot healing methods can be integrated with western approaches on the Peigan reserve. Oral evidence from interviews with elders and historical documents bring varying approaches to this timely topic. It is an important document in the neglected field of First Nations procedures and philosophies.
Making up more than ten percent of Alaska's population, Native Alaskans are the state's largest minority group. Yet most non-Native Alaskans know surprisingly little about the histories and cultures of their indigenous neighbors, or about the important issues they face. This concise book compiles frequently asked questions and provides informative and accessible responses that shed light on some common misconceptions. With responses composed by scholars within the represented communities and reviewed by a panel of experts, this easy-to-read compendium aims to facilitate a deeper exploration and richer discussion of the complex and compelling issues that are part of Alaska Native life today.