The Medicine Men: Oglala Sioux Ceremony and Healing

Synopsis

For the residents of the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, mainstream medical care is often supplemented or replaced by a host of traditional practices: the Sun Dance, the yuwipi sing, the heyok'a ceremony, herbalism, the Sioux Religion, the peyotism of the Native American Church, and other medicines, or sources of healing. Thomas H. Lewis, a psychiatrist and medical anthropologist, describes those practices as he encountered them in the late 1960s and early 1970s.During many months he studied with leading practitioners. He describes the healers-their techniques, personal histories and qualities, the problems addressed and results obtained-and examines past as well as present practices. The result is an engrossing account that may profoundly affect the way readers view the dynamics of therapy for mind and body.Retired from the National Naval Medical Center, where he served as chief of psychiatry, and from Georgetown University School of Medicine, Thomas H. Lewis now lives in Montana.