My People, the Sioux

My People, the Sioux

My People, the Sioux

My People, the Sioux

Synopsis

When it was first published in 1928, Luther Standing Bear's autobiographical account of his tribe and tribesmen was hailed by Van Wyck Brooks as 'one of the most engaging and veracious we have ever had.' It remains a landmark in Indian literature, among the first books about Indians written from the Indian point of view by an Indian.

Excerpt

We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth, as "wild." Only to the white man was nature a "wilderness" and only to him was the land "infested" with "wild" animals and "savage" people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery. Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved was it "wild" for us. When the very animals of the forest began fleeing from his approach, then it was that for us the "Wild West" began.

Luther Standing Bear, Land of the Spotted Eagle, p. 38.

As a Lakota, a member of the Teton or Western Sioux, born in the decade of the 1860s, Luther Standing Bear grew to young manhood during years of crisis for the Sioux and other tribes of the Great Plains. He was raised in the traditional manner to be a successful hunter and warrior and a respectful and productive member of Sioux society. But while he was still a boy the traditional life of the Sioux was undergoing dramatic change. The great Sioux Reservation, established by the controversial Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, came into being about the time of his birth. Although some Tetons, notably Red Cloud and American Horse of the Oglalas and Spotted Tail and Two Strikes of the Brules, began to live near agencies established for them, many of the Tetons continued to live the old way of life until military campaigns following the Custer battle on the Little Big Horn in 1876 forced the Sioux people to conform to a reservation life.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.