Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions

Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions

by John Fire Lame Deer

A full-blooded Sioux, he was many things in the white man's world -- rodeo clown, painter, prisioner.

But, above all, he was a holy man of the Lakota tribe.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Nonfiction
  • Rating: 4.26
  • Pages: 352
  • Publish Date: October 1st 1994 by Simon Schuster
  • Isbn10: 0671888021
  • Isbn13: 9780671888022

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I've read a lot of mystically minded, "authentic" native american stories, and while I have enjoyed a lot of them, this one really hit me where it counts. So many of the new age mystical texts I've read have this feeling, like "Well, this is just how the universe works, and I the author, must educate you poor souls about it. Now, you're not going to like hearing this, but this is the way things are, and if you don't believe me, then it's just because your puny unenlightened mind can't handle it.

He explains the narrative of his people and their history with the white man in eloquent but simple language. He clearly recognizes the challenges ahead of his people - and the white man's.

As someone from a predominantly (and proudly) american indian family it helped me come to terms with a lot of the things I've always felt in my life that have led to me making somewhat self-defeating choices.

I had always lumped this one in with the " Mystical Indian" books that surround the gems I had come to find over the years.

Denn seit meinem Besuch im Westen, versuche ich auf allen meinen Reisen dieses Gefühl der grenzenloser Freiheit und Einheit mit der Natur zu reproduzieren. So stieß ich auf das Buch des Lakota Medizinmanns Lame Deer. Der Künstler Richard Erdoes staunte nicht schlecht als eines Tages der Medizinmann Lame Deer in der Tür seines New Yorker Apartments stand. Das Buch startet mit dem ungewöhnlichen Leben von Lame Deer. Fazit Die Symbole des Lebens erkennen Lame Deer Seekers of Visions ist mehr als nur die Biographie eines Medizinmanns. Mitankuye oyasin All my relatives Wertung 4/5 Alle awesomatik Rezensionen auf einen Blick: awesomatik Kuriosum Wie schlecht es aktuell um die Indianer in den USA steht, machen diese Fakten aus der Pine Ridge Reservation (aus der Lame Deer stammte) deutlich: Arbeitslosenquote von 80-90% Alkoholismusrate von 80% Jugendsuizidrate viermal so hoch wie außerhalb des Reservats Die Lebenserwartung ist die zweitniedrigste in der gesamten westlichen Hemisphäre.

So it was to some extent with my friend's slant on the subject influencing me that I read Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions. Probably because of my Lakota friends' influences, I was fully prepared to dismiss Richard Erdoes as a "wannabe wasicu", yet when I came to his epilogue at the end of the book I found him likable, credible, and interesting on his own terms as well. I don't know if Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions is entirely true to Lakota culture as it is practiced by the Lakota themselves, but I do believe that Erdoes has made a sincere, good-faith effort to transmit what he learned from his Indian friends as faithfully as a white guy could manage.

You can accept or reject Lame Deer's social critique on the merits of his education, but you can't reject them on the basis of ideology or interest.

As I read this book I felt I was being taken along a journey by an old Indian. So here, in Lame Deer's book, we have an old Indian who is willing to take the reader on a journey of what it was like to be an Indian many years ago and how the values and skills known to this Native American race have been eroded through oppression and discrimination. Lame Deer takes us on a journey that gives us glimpses of himself as he goes through his life.

The men decided to collaborate together to write a book about the life of Lame Deer. The first part recounts many funny personal stories about Lame Deer's life and his run-ins with the law, his personal feelings about the present state of the US, and his own thoughts about what it means to be an Indian. Lame Deer explains how important symbolism is to the Indian and also explains a good deal of Indian mythology in the latter part of the book which helps the average reader get inside the minds of these people and their beliefs.

Lame Deer's life story spans from the Model T Ford to the Vietnam War. He doesn't try to sanctify himself. He stresses that a Lakota Medicine Man has to experience all of life--what it's like to be good and what it's like to be bad--and he tells it all. Of course, Lame Deer wasn't asking me to believe him. He was merely describing the way of a Lakota Medicine Man. I respect and appreciate that. Lame Deer was not reluctant to point out that sometimes the medicine just doesn't work. But if a Lakota person pretends to have had a vision calling them to be a Medicine Man when in reality they had not, that always ends badly, he says, bringing shame to the individual and to their family. This was the first book I have read by Lakota Medicine Man. It is certainly the most detailed account I have read of Indigenous life by an Indigenous narrator. LAME DEER SEEKER OF VISIONS offers an insight into what that might look like.

John Fire Lame Deer was a Mineconju-Lakota Sioux born on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Making his home at the Pine Ridge Reservation and traveling around the country, Lame Deer became known both among the Lakota and to the American public at a time when indigenous culture and spirituality were going through a period of rebirth and the psychedelic movement of the 1960s had yet to disintegrate.