Lakota Woman

Lakota Woman

Mary Crow Dog, Richard Erdoes

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 0802145426

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Mary Brave Bird grew up fatherless in a one-room cabin, without running water or electricity, on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Rebelling against the aimless drinking, punishing missionary school, narrow strictures for women, and violence and hopeless of reservation life, she joined the new movement of tribal pride sweeping Native American communities in the sixties and seventies. Mary eventually married Leonard Crow Dog, the American Indian Movement's chief medicine man, who revived the sacred but outlawed Ghost Dance.

Originally published in 1990, Lakota Woman was a national best seller and winner of the American Book Award. It is a unique document, unparalleled in American Indian literature, a story of death, of determination against all odds, of the cruelties perpetuated against American Indians, and of the Native American struggle for rights. Working with Richard Erdoes, one of the twentieth century's leading writers on Native American affairs, Brave Bird recounts her difficult upbringing and the path of her fascinating life.

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with my mother and fights with my stepfather. So I ran away. At first only for two weeks to a place that was not very far, just a few miles , then I stayed away for months , and in the end, altogether. I drank and smoked grass all the time. At age seventeen that was just about all I did . Whiskey, straight whiskey, and not Johnny Walker or Cutty Sark either. Then I changed over to gin because I liked the taste. How I survived the wild , drunken rides which are s uch an integral part of the

treating us to meat soup, fry bread, and thick, black coffee. We existed entirely without money, yet we ate, traveled, and usually found a roof over our heads. Something strange happened then. The traditional old, full-blood medicine men joined in with us kids. Not the middle-aged adults. They were of a lost generation which had given up all hope, necktie-wearers waiting for the Great White Father to do for them. It was the real old folks who had spirit and wisdom to give us . The grandfathers

want to throw our 1 09 L A K O T A W O M A N medicine out the window. So I and another girl decided to eat it. It seemed more respectful . When we got back to our motel in Texas we were all peyoted up. My head was spin­ ning. When you take medicine in a ceremonial context it does not affect you that way. There I was sitting on the carpet in our room and I sure was in the power. Later we found out that the customs inspectors had known all about us , had seen Crow Dog's certificate, and had

Black Hills . There was not one single Sioux from Rosebud , Pine Ridge, Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, or Oak Creek who did not bear the scars of humiliations , undeserved arrests , or beatings re­ ceived in this town whose main sport has always been Indian-baiting. The resentment that had been smoldering for eighty years finally boiled over in one wild night. The police went berserk, going on a rampage with their night­ sticks , busting the head of anybody who looked Indian. They arrested

nature. The paradise is not j ust a one nuclear family place, but rather a settlement for the whole clan, the whole tiyospaye. In 1 97 3 , when I moved in with Crow Dog, it consisted of two main buildings . The biggest one was the house in which Leonard's parents lived . Old Man Henry had built it himself out of whatever odds and ends he had been able to find-tree 1 72 Sioux and Elephants Never Forget trunks, rocks, parts of an old railroad car, and tar paper. Some windows were car windows

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