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 ...
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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A wonderful and moving story about a Lakota girl growing up in America before there was a large European influence. Great view of the world at the time and a great introduction to traditional Native American culture. Written by a Lakota woman and based on true accounts of her relatives. I read this class for an anthropology class and loved it enough to re-read it this summer.
Publishers Weekly, 1988-02-26 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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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