American Indian Autobiography

American Indian Autobiography

American Indian Autobiography

American Indian Autobiography

Synopsis

American Indian Autobiography is a kind of cultural kaleidoscope whose narratives come to us from a wide range of American Indians: warriors, farmers, Christian converts, rebels and assimilationists, peyotists, shamans, hunters, Sun Dancers, artists and Hollywood Indians, spiritualists, visionaries, mothers, fathers, and English professors. Many of these narratives are as-told-to autobiographies, and those who labored to set them down in writing are nearly as diverse as their subjects. Black Elk had a poet for his amanuensis; Maxidiwiac, a Hidatsa farmer who worked her fields with a bone-blade hoe, had an anthropologist. Two Leggings, the man who led the last Crow war party, speaks to us through a merchant from Bismarck, North Dakota. White Horse Eagle, an aged Osage, told his story to a Nazi historian. By discussing these remarkable narratives from a historical perspective, H. David Brumble III reveals how the various editors' assumptions and methods influenced the autobiographies as well as the autobiographers. Brumble also-and perhaps most importantly-describes the various oral autobiographical traditions of the Indians themselves, including those of N. Scott Momaday and Leslie Marmon Silko. American Indian Autobiography includes an extensive bibliography; this Bison Books edition features a new introduction by the author.
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