Being Dakota: Tales and Traditions of the Sisseton and Wahpeton

Overview

At the Beginning of the Twentieth Century, a few members of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota community in northeastern South Dakota worked quietly to preserve the customs and stories of their ancestors in the face of federal government suppression and the opposition of organized religion. Amos E. Oneroad, a son of one of those families, was educated in traditional Dakota ways and then sent east, where he obtained a college education and eventually became a Presbyterian minister. For most of his life, he moved in two ...
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Overview

At the Beginning of the Twentieth Century, a few members of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota community in northeastern South Dakota worked quietly to preserve the customs and stories of their ancestors in the face of federal government suppression and the opposition of organized religion. Amos E. Oneroad, a son of one of those families, was educated in traditional Dakota ways and then sent east, where he obtained a college education and eventually became a Presbyterian minister. For most of his life, he moved in two worlds. By fortunate coincidence, he met Alanson B. Skinner, a student of anthropology and kindred soul, in New York City. The two men formed a bond both personal and professional, collaborating on anthropological studies in various parts of the United States. The project closest to Oneroad's heart was the collection and preservation of the stories and traditions of the Sisseton and Wahpeton. Oneroad wrote down the stories and gave them to Skinner. The men intended to polish the resulting manuscript and publish it, but Skinner's untimely death in 1925 thwarted their plans.

Oneroad and Skinner collected descriptions of everyday life, including material culture, tribal organization, and ceremonies that marked the individual's passage from birth to death. Several of the folk tales relate the exploits of Iktomi, the trickster, in rare, early, unexpurgated versions. Others tell of adventures of such figures as the Child of Love, Star Born, and the Mysterious Turtle.

Laura L. Anderson found the neglected manuscript among Skinner's papers in a California library and has edited it for publication. Being Dakota succeeds in fulfilling its authors' original intent by conveying these long-ago stories and traditions to the children and grandchildren and being true to Amos Oneroad's voice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873514538
  • Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
  • Publication date: 5/9/2003
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Amos E. Oneroad moved in two worlds. Educated in traditional Dakota ways, he also earned a divinity degree from Columbia University and become a Presbyterian minister. In 1914 he began working with Alanson B. Skinner, a student of anthropology whom he met in New York City. Oneroad wrote these stories; Skinner planned to edit and publish the work. But Skinner's untimely death in 1925 thwarted their plans, and the manuscript languished for seventy-five years in a California library. Laura L. Anderson, who teaches anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, has edited this unusual document, which offers a fresh look at what it means to be Dakota.

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Table of Contents

Preface 000Introduction 000The Sisseton-Wahpeton Community 000Amos Enos Oneroad (Mahpiyasna) 000Alanson Buck Skinner 000The Manuscript 000Sisseton and Wahpeton Traditions and Customs 000Civil and Military Organization 000Tribal Divisions 000Officers, Government, Warriors, and War Customs 000Social Life and Organizations 000Societies and Ceremonies 000Life of the Individual 000Dakota Naming Customs 000Puberty Fasting and Dreaming 000Courtship, Marriage, Polygamy, and Divorce 000Mortuary Customs and the Hereafter 000Material Culture 000Houses, costumes, etc. 000Dress 000Dwellings 000Household utensils 000Games 000Sisseton and Wahpeton Tales and Folklore 000Introduction 000The Adventures of Iktomi 0001. Iktomi and His Member 0002. Iktomi and the Bathing Girls 0003. Iktomi and the Mysterious Raccoon 0004. Iktomi and the Gopher 0005. Iktomi Is Caught in a Skull 0006. Iktomi and the Elk 0007. Iktomi and the Nighthawk 0008. Iktomi and the Turkey Buzzard 0009. Iktomi Has Revenge Upon the Buzzard 00010. Iktomi and the Ducks 00011. Iktomi and the Artichoke 00012. Iktomi and the Roseberries 00013. Iktomi and the Two Girls 00014. Iktomi and the Raccoon Family 00015. Iktomi and the Fox 00016. Iktomi and the Hare 00017. Iktomi Visits the Squirrel 00018. Iktomi and the Beaver 00019. Iktomi and the Buffalo 000The Adventures of Masti@a, the Hare 0001. Hare and His Grandmother 0002. Hare and the Bear Hunt 0003. Hare and the Early Riser 000Other Stories 0001. The Child of Love 0002. The Mouse and the Buffalo 0003. The Legend of Hoop Ravine 0004. The Raccoon and the Crawfish 0005. Turtle and His Warparty 0006. The Woodpecker and the Crane 0007. The Mysterious Man 0008. The Man Who Was Changed to a Pickerel 0009. The Mysterious Turtle 00010. The Toad Who Stole a Boy 00011. The Flying Man 00012. Star Born 00013. The Origin of the Medicine Dance 000Tales 00014. A Migration Tale 00015. How the Heyoka Got His Medicine 00016. A Boy Joker 00017. Contest Between Thunder-bird and Monster 00018. A Witch Story 00019. A Berdache Story 00020. A War Story 000Notes 000Bibliography 000Index 000

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