Land of the Spotted Eagle

By Luther Standing Bear | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

I HAVE often thought it a great pity that our people, the European race, should have burst in upon this land of America and spread ourselves over it as we did in the manner of unsympathetic aliens instead of introducing ourselves as prospective friends, desiring to become fully acquainted with the native features of beauty and of interest in the land, and with the admirable qualities of its people. The native people were able, willing, and ready to be our guides, and to put us at ease in the land which was their home, and to make us feel at home in it also. But we preferred to begin, and to carry on, so far as possible, the removal and destruction of all the belongings of this home and to substitute for them, whether fitting or not, the belongings of our former home in Europe. So we proceeded to destroy instead of adapting and enriching America. We began merely to try to build a New Spain, a New France, a New Netherlands, and a New England. Instead of accepting the good gifts of this new land and people, and adding to them desirable gifts from our own store, thus completely furnishing a really new and handsome home, we spurned them, and our endeavor has resulted in destroying untold native beauty and desirable character, in place of which we have succeeded in establishing a secondhand establishment, furnished out with many of the belongings of the old home to which we were accustomed, but lacking here their proper sense of fitness and independence. We have destroyed and driven out many delightful native birds and in their place have introduced such pests as the starling and the house sparrow. We have changed the landscape, and over extensive areas have destroyed all the native vegetation, and instead of exqui

-xxv-

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Land of the Spotted Eagle
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Notes xiv
  • Preface xv
  • Explanatory Note xix
  • Contents xxi
  • Illustrations xxiii
  • Introduction xxv
  • Chapter I - Cradle Days 1
  • Chapter II - Boyhood 13
  • Chapter III - Hunter, Scout, Warrior 39
  • Chapter IV - Home and Family 83
  • Chapter V - Civil Arrangements: Bands, Chiefs, Lodges 120
  • Chapter VI - Social Customs 148
  • Chapter VII - Indian Wisdom 192
  • Chapter VIII - Later Days 226
  • Chapter IX - What the Indian Means to America 247
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