Singing For A Spirit (HC)

SKU: 9781574160253

Jr. Deloria
Grade Levels:
Ten, Eleven, Twelve, College, University
Dakota, Plains, Sioux
Book Type:
Clear Light Books
Copyright Date:

Sale price$34.93


Singing for a Spirit - A Portrait of the Dakota Sioux by noted Sioux author and historian Vine Deloria Jr represents an interesting combination of family history combined with Sioux oral tradition and historical writings by a Non-Native author. Deloria explains in his introduction that his family has always wanted to set the record straight in response to Sarah Olden's book, The People of Tipi Sapa, written in 1918. Tipi Sapa was a Yankton Sioux Chief, prominent Episcopal clergyman, and Vine Deloria's grandfather. Deloria notes that his grandfather dictated most of the text to Olden but she reorganized the oral history and omitted several stories and explanations. Deloria has compiled his family's history into the context of the times that range from 1750 to 1989. The insight he provides into his grandfather's vision and subsequent acceptance of Christianity is placed firmly within the history of Indian-White relations. In the second half of the book, Deloria reprints Olden's text that explores the spiritual beliefs, rituals, and traditions of the Yankton Dakota Sioux. Topics covered include the origin and creation of the people, the meaning of the circle, family relationships, roles of men and women, war stories, games, the Sun Dance and Vision Quest, and the importance of tobacco. In general Deloria agrees with Olden's text but he adds notes where she had omitted or confused key information. This text is set off in brackets. Deloria comments that he has tried to "combine what Sarah Olden recorded with what my family elders taught me in order to tell the whole story and make the cultural information more accurate." Deloria has achieved this intention and has produced a unique family and community history that contextualizes Yankton Sioux and White relations in the American West.

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