Read Old Indian Days by Charles Alexander Eastman Free Online
Book Title: Old Indian Days|
Date of issue: February 1st 1991
ISBN 13: 9780803267183
The author of the book: Charles Alexander Eastman
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 743 KB
Edition: University of Nebraska Press
Read full description of the books Old Indian Days:The stories in Old Indian Days focus mainly on Sioux bands of the Upper Midwest in prereservation times, when contact with whites was minimal. Charles A. Eastman, a mixed-blood Sioux who earned renown as the author of nearly a dozen books, was on home ground in writing about the traditional life of his people, their customs, warm family relations, reverence for animals, and struggle for survival. Originally published in 1907, Old Indian Days alludes to historical figures like Little Crow and Tamahay and to an event that Eastman experienced as a small boy, the 1862 Sioux Uprising in Minnesota. The excitement of intertribal warfare and the warrior's lone exploits, as well as his more tender side in trying to fathom the mysteries of womanhood and the eternal are seen in "The Love of Antelope," "The Madness of Bald Eagle." "The Singing Spirit," and other stories. Women enter into these evocations of Indian life most memorably. In "The Peace-Maker" a Sioux woman takes a valiant stand against the consumption of whiskey. Other heroines, including Blue Sky and She-Who-Has-a-Soul, are instrumental in bringing peace between tribes and between races. "Winona, the Woman-Child" and "Winona, the Child-Woman" are among those stories revealing the everyday life of the Indian woman, her rearing and education and influence. In her introduction to this Bison Book edition, A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff, a professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago, examines the extent to which the stories are original creations and reinterpretations of existing oral accounts.
Read information about the authorCharles Alexander Eastman is unique among Indian writers, whether storytellers or oral historians. He was raised traditionally, as a Woodland Sioux, by his grandmother, from 1858 - 1874, until he was 15. He thus gained a thorough first-hand knowledge of the lifeways, language, culture, and oral history.
His father (thought to have been hanged at Mankato, Minnesota) reappeared and insisted he receive the white man's education. Educated at Dartmouth and Boston University medical school, Eastman became a highly literate physician, who was the only doctor available to the victims of the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890 -- a major historical event, often described as "ending the Indian wars".
Other Indian writers of this period were either entirely acculturated -- had never lived the traditional life of their people or been educated out of their native knowledge -- or were not literate, and were able to provide only "as told to" materials, through the filters of interpreters and non-Indian writers. Eastman had the lifeways and historical events experiences, and he did not need the literary filters of translators and white anthropologists or collectors.
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