Overview

When Standing Bear returned to the Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation after sixteen years' absence, his dismay at the condition of his people may well have served as a catalyst for the writing of this book, first published in 1933. In addition to describing the customs, manners, and traditions of the Teton Sioux, Standing Bear also offered general comments about the importance of Native cultures and values and the status of Indian peoples in American society. With the assistance of Melvin R. Gilmore, curator of ...
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Land of the Spotted Eagle, New Edition

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Overview

When Standing Bear returned to the Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation after sixteen years' absence, his dismay at the condition of his people may well have served as a catalyst for the writing of this book, first published in 1933. In addition to describing the customs, manners, and traditions of the Teton Sioux, Standing Bear also offered general comments about the importance of Native cultures and values and the status of Indian peoples in American society. With the assistance of Melvin R. Gilmore, curator of ethnology at the University of Michigan, and Warcaziwin, Standing Bear’s niece and secretary, Standing Bear sought to tell the white man “just how” they “lived as Lakotans.”

Land of the Spotted Eagle is generously interspersed with personal reminiscences and anecdotes, including chapters on child rearing, social and political organization, family, religion, and manhood. Standing Bear's views on Indian affairs and his suggestions for the improvement of white-Indian relations are presented in the two closing chapters.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy Crowder
If nothing else, this book, first written in 1933 and now published by the University of Nebraska Press, should open readers' eyes about the stereotypical Native Americans—Indians—seen in old black and white TV westerns or today's abiding misconceptions. The mostly ethnographic book, told in Standing Bear's warm, meandering style, is a thoughtful, informative narrative about the Lakota people, commonly known as the Sioux. Note what the author wrote concerning the concept of "savages:" "We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth as ‘wild.' Only to the white man was nature ‘wilderness' and only to him was the land ‘infested' with ‘wild' animals and ‘savage' people…Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved was it ‘wild' for us. When the very animals of the forest began fleeing from his approach, then it was when the ‘wild west' began." Luther Standing Bear discusses his infancy and boyhood, the niches men and women occupied within the Lakota community, the very civilized customs surrounding courtship and marriage, manners, morals, Indian wisdom concerning nature, religion, ceremony. The last chapters, "What the Indian Means to America," and "The Tragedy of the Souix," are just as compelling today as when they were first written. This book should make any teacher or parent who ever slapped a fringed paper bag, construction paper head band and single feather on a student, then taught them to cry, "woo-woo-woo" cringe with shame. Land of the Spotted Eagle should be a staple in every high school history class and library.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803293656
  • Publisher: UNP - Bison Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 276
  • Sales rank: 488,352
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Luther Standing Bear is the author of Stories of the Sioux, My Indian Boyhood, and My People the Sioux (all available in Bison Books editions).

Joseph Marshall (Lakota Sioux) is a historian, educator, speaker, and recipient of the Wyoming Humanities Award. He is the author of several books, including The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History and The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living.

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