A unique collection detailing the customs, traditions, and folklore of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota at the turn of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the twentieth century, a few members of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota community in north-eastern South Dakota worked quietly to preserve the customs and stories of their ancestors in the face of federal government suppression and the opposition of organised religion. Amos E. Oneroad, a son of one of those families, was educated in traditional Dakota ways and then sent East, where he obtained a college education and eventually became a Presbyterian minister. For most of his life, he moved in two worlds. By fortunate coincidence he met Alanson B. Skinner, a student of anthropology and kindred soul, in New York City. The two men formed a bond both personal and professional, collaborating on anthropological studies in various parts of the United States. The project closest to Oneroad's heart was the collection and preservation of the stories and traditions of the Sisseton and Wahpeton. Oneroad wrote down the stories and gave them to Skinner.
The men intended to polish the resulting manuscript and publish it, but Skinner's untimely death in 1925 thwarted their plans. Oneroad and Skinner collected descriptions of everyday life, including material culture, tribal organisation, and ceremonies that marked the individual's passage from birth to death. Several of the folk tales relate the exploits of Iktomi, the trickster, in rare, early, unexpurgated versions. Others tell of adventures of such figures as the Child of Love, Star Born, and the Mysterious Turtle. Laura L. Anderson, who teaches anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, found the neglected manuscript among Skinner's papers in a California library and has edited it for publication. "Being Dakota" succeeds in fulfilling its authors' original intent by conveying these long-ago stories and traditions to the children and grandchildren, and being true to Amos Oneroad's voice.
Buy Being Dakota book by Amos E. Oneroad from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(155mm x 230mm x 20mm)
Minnesota Historical Society Press,U.S.
Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press,U.S.
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Author Biography - Amos E. Oneroad
Amos E Oneroad and lanson B Skinner