One Hundred Years of Old Man Sage: An Arapaho Life

Overview

Sherman Sage (ca. 1844-1943) was an unforgettable Arapaho man who witnessed profound change in his community and was one of the last to see the Plains black with buffalo. As a young warrior, Sage defended his band many times, raided enemy camps, saw the first houses go up in Denver, was present at Fort Laramie for the signing of the 1868 treaty, and witnessed Crazy Horse's surrender. Later, he visited the Ghost Dance prophet Wovoka and became a link in the spread of the Ghost Dance religion to other Plains Indian...
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Overview

Sherman Sage (ca. 1844-1943) was an unforgettable Arapaho man who witnessed profound change in his community and was one of the last to see the Plains black with buffalo. As a young warrior, Sage defended his band many times, raided enemy camps, saw the first houses go up in Denver, was present at Fort Laramie for the signing of the 1868 treaty, and witnessed Crazy Horse's surrender. Later, he visited the Ghost Dance prophet Wovoka and became a link in the spread of the Ghost Dance religion to other Plains Indian tribes. As an elder, Old Man Sage was a respected, vigorous leader, walking miles to visit friends and family even in his nineties. One of the most interviewed Native Americans in the Old West, Sage was a wellspring of information for both Arapahos and outsiders about older tribal customs.

Anthropologist Jeffrey D. Anderson gathered information about Sage's long life from archives, interviews, recollections, and published sources and has here woven it into a compelling biography. We see different sides of Sage-how he followed a traditional Arapaho life path; what he learned about the Rocky Mountains and Plains; what he saw and did as outsiders invaded the Arapahos' homeland in the nineteenth century; how he adjusted, survived, and guided other Arapahos during the early reservation years; and how his legacy lives on today. The remembrances of Old Man Sage's relatives and descendants of friends make apparent that his vision and guidance were not limited to his lifetime but remain vital today in the Northern Arapaho tribe.

Jeffrey D. Anderson is an associate professor of anthropology at Colby College. He is the author of The Four Hills of Life: Northern Arapaho Knowledge and Life Movement (Nebraska 2001).

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

"Anderson, reflecting the fruits of his longtime residence and advocacy in a contemporary Native community, presents a model of ethnohistory and analysis that gives a fascinating account of a man who witnessed and adapted to major cultural changes. . . . This is a worthy book."—Choice
Montana the Magazine of Western History - Mary Ellen Tunks

"Sage's experiences were significant not only because of his longevity, but also because of his willingness to share his knowledge and history with anthropologists and others. . . . Anderson has performed admirable work in piecing together existing narratives and his own research to produce a worthwhile study."—Mary Ellen Tunks, Montana the Magazine of Western History
South Dakota History - Billy Hathorn

“Anderson has produced an analytical biography that acquaints readers with some of the best insight Arapaho culture has to offer.”—Billy Hathorn, South Dakota History
Western Historical Quarterly - Henry E. Stamm IV

"A most welcome contribution to the study of American Indian history and ethnology."—Henry E. Stamm IV, Western Historical Quarterly
Montana the Magazine of Western History

"Sage's experiences were significant not only because of his longevity, but also because of his willingness to share his knowledge and history with anthropologists and others. . . . Anderson has performed admirable work in piecing together existing narratives and his own research to produce a worthwhile study."—Mary Ellen Tunks, Montana the Magazine of Western History

— Mary Ellen Tunks

South Dakota History

“Anderson has produced an analytical biography that acquaints readers with some of the best insight Arapaho culture has to offer.”—Billy Hathorn, South Dakota History

— Billy Hathorn

Western Historical Quarterly

"A most welcome contribution to the study of American Indian history and ethnology."—Henry E. Stamm IV, Western Historical Quarterly

— Henry E. Stamm IV

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Product Details

Meet the Author


Jeffrey D. Anderson is an associate professor of anthropology at Colby College. He is the author of The Four Hills of Life: Northern Arapaho Knowledge and Life Movement (Nebraska 2001).
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Table of Contents

Preface vii
1. The East 1
2. Names 5
3. Out of the Cradleboard Walking 15
4. "For There Will Always Be More" 18
5. The Lodges 23
6. "For Education Is a Very Good Thing" 27
7. "I Killed a Little Buffalo Calf" 31
8. Moving North 33
9. Marriage 41
10. Beaver and Sage 47
11. The "Indian Struggle" 51
12. Finding a Place 55
13. Ghost Dance 60
14. Working at Wind River 67
15. History 72
16. Mystic and Warrior 74
17. "When the Tracks Become Smaller" 76
18. Songs 79
19. The Straight Road 81
20. Many Roads 83
21. War 85
22. Working Together 91
23. Changes 95
24. The West 98
25. Knowing about Plants, Animals, and People 107
26. A Unique Individual 113
27. Seeing 117
Chronology 123
Notes 127
References 131
Index 135
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2003

    Lela Waste' (really good)

    Good story with accurate history included

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