Overview

When Blue Bird and her grandmother leave their family’s camp to gather beans for the long, threatening winter, they inadvertently avoid the horrible fate that befalls the rest of the family. Luckily, the two women are adopted by a nearby Dakota community and are eventually integrated into their kinship circles. Ella Cara Deloria’s tale follows Blue Bird and her daughter, Waterlily, through the intricate kinship practices that created unity among her people.
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Waterlily, New Edition

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Overview

When Blue Bird and her grandmother leave their family’s camp to gather beans for the long, threatening winter, they inadvertently avoid the horrible fate that befalls the rest of the family. Luckily, the two women are adopted by a nearby Dakota community and are eventually integrated into their kinship circles. Ella Cara Deloria’s tale follows Blue Bird and her daughter, Waterlily, through the intricate kinship practices that created unity among her people.
Waterlily, published after Deloria’s death and generally viewed as the masterpiece of her career, offers a captivating glimpse into the daily life of the nineteenth-century Sioux. This new Bison Books edition features an introduction by Susan Gardner and an index.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Deloria was a Sioux Indian and an ethnologist who worked with anthropologist Franz Boas. Written in the early 1940s and now published for the first time, this culturally detailed novel of 19th century Sioux life focuses on a young girl named Waterlily. When her mother Blue Bird is deserted by her husband, she and her daughter are welcomed by relatives at their tiyospaye (encampment of related households) on the western plains. Deloria portrays Waterlily's maturation, daily tribal life and the crucial ``kinship rules.'' As the author wrote elsewhere, the Sioux concept of kinship meant ``achieving civility, good manners, and a sense of responsibility toward every individual dealt with.'' Waterlily learns she must show altruism and generosity, be courteous, demure and truthful, and highly value each family member. While this novel's plot is slight, Deloria clearly accomplished what was probably her true goalpresenting an authoritative, expertly researched account of Sioux beliefs, social conventions and ceremonies. As such, it is an absorbing document. Literary Guild alternate. (April)
Library Journal
$19.95. f ``I have a mission: To make the Dakota people understandable, as human beings, to the white people who have to deal with them.'' That commitment, strengthened by more than 20 years of research with Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict, inspired Yankton Sioux ethnologist Deloria to write this novel, completed in 1944 but published only now. Set in Sioux country in the 19th century and beginning with a dramatic birth, it portrays intricate kinship rituals and the compelling minutiae of daily life. A richly female perspective balances traditional male values expressed in warfare and hunting. Intended as popular literature, the novel is an amalgam of meticulous research and enduring intimacies available only to outsiders. A captivating narrative, recommended for general as well as subject collections. Rhoda Carroll, Vermont Coll., Montpelier
Booknews
An English-language edition of the German book Wasserturme. The translator had only introductory text to work; the book comprises 224 photographs by an internationally known pair of German industrial landscape photographers. Their work is deliberately unglamorous, departing from the usual style of architectural photography. The Bechers' photos are widely collected in the US, but this is the first time their work has been published here. Photographs were taken over a period of 25 years. A reprint of the University of Nebraska Press edition of 1988. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Nation - Arnold Krupat

“Waterlily is by one who knows the culture from within, and in its instruction about Dakota ethnography the book strikes me . . . as wonderfully fine. Day to day life of the traditional Dakota is rendered in sympathetic detail.”—Arnold Krupat, The Nation
Los Angeles Times

“No one is better qualified than Deloria to draw together a series of Sioux female characters such as the ones central to this novel. . . . Deloria was bilingual as well as bicultural. Through her work we see the value of the insider’s perspective as a bridge of understanding for those outside the culture.”—Ines Talamantez, Los Angeles Times
Nation

“Waterlily is by one who knows the culture from within, and in its instruction about Dakota ethnography the book strikes me . . . as wonderfully fine. Day to day life of the traditional Dakota is rendered in sympathetic detail.”—Arnold Krupat, The Nation

— Arnold Krupat

Journal of the West

"Deloria tells universal truths cast in an authentic framework of early nineteenth-century Plains Indian society. . . . The feminine point of view is genius."—Journal of the West
World Literature Today

“[Deloria’s] novel is a distinguished work of literature at the same time that it is an important exercise in historical reconstruction, based on her wide and deep study of Dakota texts.”—World Literature Today
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803267695
  • Publisher: UNP - Bison Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 338,266
  • File size: 386 KB

Meet the Author

Ella Cara Deloria (1889–1971) was born on the Yankton reservation in South Dakota and grew up in a prominent family on the Standing Rock reservation during a disruptive time in her tribe’s history. She studied at Columbia University with Franz Boas and became an ethnologist. She is the author of Dakota Texts and Speaking of Indians, both available in Bison Books editions, Dakota Grammar, and many other works. Susan Gardner is an associate professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and is the author of several articles and a forthcoming biography on Ella Deloria.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2014

    Wings

    Wlks bac o her trexgaurds

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2014

    Dei

    She smiles cruelly, stealthily sneaking behind Ranger, completely silent.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2014

    Ranger

    He calls his dragon and it runs to him and they both vanish.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2014

    BattleField

    This will be where any races with battle or all races.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2013

    Good read

    Great book. Enjoyed the reflection on Dakota Indian home life. I was surprised to learn of the many moral values we had in common.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 25, 2012

    Well, very example of the Sioux culture.

    The novel is the women's culture in the era, Sioux. Thw Waterlily was a youth through adult experiences; family, grandparents, and the family. Waterlily learned the ways of the women's society and habits.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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