The Soul of the Indian: An Interpretation

Overview

Charles Alexander Eastman (1858-1939) was a mixed-blood Sioux. His maternal grandmother, daughter of Chief Cloudman of the Mdewankton Sioux, was married to a well-known western artist, Captain Seth Eastman, and in 1847 their daughter Mary Nancy Eastman became the wife of Chief Many Lightnings, a Wahpeton Sioux. Their fifth child, Charles Alexander Eastman, as a four-year old was given the name Ohiyesa (the Winner). During the Sioux Uprising of 1862 Ohiyesa became separated from his father—his mother had died soon...
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Overview

Charles Alexander Eastman (1858-1939) was a mixed-blood Sioux. His maternal grandmother, daughter of Chief Cloudman of the Mdewankton Sioux, was married to a well-known western artist, Captain Seth Eastman, and in 1847 their daughter Mary Nancy Eastman became the wife of Chief Many Lightnings, a Wahpeton Sioux. Their fifth child, Charles Alexander Eastman, as a four-year old was given the name Ohiyesa (the Winner). During the Sioux Uprising of 1862 Ohiyesa became separated from his father—his mother had died soon after his birth-and fled from the reservation in Minnesota to Canada under the protection of his grandmother and uncle. There he was schooled in the Indian ways until the age of fifteen, when he was reunited with his father, who took him back to his homestead in present South Dakota.

Eastman went on to become one of the best-known Indians of his time, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from Dartmouth in 1887 and a medical degree from Boston University three years later. From his first appointment as a physician at Pine Ridge Agency, where he witnessed the events that culminated in the Wounded Knee massacre, he sought to bring understanding between Native and non-Native Americans. In addition to two autobiographical works, Indian Boyhood (1902) and From the Deep Woods to Civilization (1916), Charles Eastman wrote nine other books, some in collaboration with his wife, Elaine Goodale Eastman (who has told her story in Sister to the Sioux, also a Bison Book).

In The Soul of the Indian, first published in 1911, the author's aim has been "to paint the religious life of the typical American Indian as it was before he knew the white man."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803267015
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1980
  • Pages: 170
  • Sales rank: 694,763
  • Lexile: 1360L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.29 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.48 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 16, 2009

    Great insight into the Indian Spirit.

    Very easy to read and understand. Relates the closeness of the Indian cultures with nature. This book leaves you with the true feeling of the universality of spirit and makes one question the validity of theologies that exclude all other explanations of God and the spirit world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2001

    eye opener

    Growing up in South Dakota, I was raised with preconceived notions about Native Americans. This was not because of my parents or schooling, it was because of my society. I lived in Sioux Falls, SD and the Native American population is very low. Whites being the majority race. However, when I went to college, I decided to attend school in Rapid City, SD. My eyes became closed to what the Native Americans really valued and believed. After giving some thought to my ideology, I decided on buying Soul of an Indian. My mind changed dramatically! Not only did I see a new type of people, but I realized, like the Native Americans, whites too, have had times of hardships and controversy. This book has exemplified the main underlyings for thought and philosophical contemplation. I believe from reading this book, not only have I become a better person, but a better educated person. If you want a book that will give you a straight forward interpetation of Indian beliefs and ideologies, then this book is certainly the one. Read it to learn, but more importantly, read it to grow.

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