Last Week on Inked Brownies

Guest Post: Lakota by Andrew Joyce

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. I would like to thank Anne for allowing me to be here today to promote my latest, Yellow Hair, which documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage I write about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in my fact-based tale of fiction were real people and I use their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century.
Note from Anne: If you’re still looking for an American History stamp on your
Fall Bookish Bingo cardlook no further!

1YellowHair-800 Cover reveal and Promotional.jpg

Now that the commercial is out of the way, we can get down to what I really came here to talk about: the Sioux people. The people we know as the Sioux were originally known as the Dakota, which means ally. The name Sioux came from the Chippewa and the French. The Chippewa called them Nadonessiou, which means adder, or enemy, and then the French shortened the name to Sioux.
Every culture has an origin myth. We in the West have Adam and Eve. The Ancient Greeks had Gaia. According to the Norse people, Odin and Ymir founded the earth. If you will allow me, I’d like to tell you the creation story of the Dakota.
In the beginning, before the creation of the earth, the gods resided in the sky and humans lived in darkness. Chief among the gods was Ta՜kuwakaŋ, the Sun, who was married to Haŋyetuwi, the Moon. He had one daughter, Wohpe. And there was Old Man and Old Woman, whose daughter, Ite, was wife to Wind, to whom she gave four sons, the Four Winds.
Of the other spirits, the most important was Iŋktomi, the devious trickster. Iŋktomi conspired with Old Man and Old Woman to increase their daughter’s status by arranging an affair between the Sun and Ite. His wife’s discovery of the affair led Ta՜kuwakaŋ to give the Moon her own domain, and by separating her from himself, created time.
Old Man, Old Woman and Ite—who was separated from Wind, her husband—were banished to Earth. Ite, along with her children, the Four Winds, and a fifth wind—the child of Ite but not of Wind—established space. The daughter of the Sun and the Moon, Wohpe, also fell to earth and later resided with the South Wind. The two adopted the fifth wind, who was called Wamŋiomŋi.
Alone on the newly formed Earth, some of the gods became bored. Ite prevailed upon Iŋktomi to find her people, the Buffalo Nation. In the form of a wolf, Iŋktomi went beneath the earth and discovered a village of humans. Iŋktomi told them about the wonders of the Earth and convinced one man, Tokahe, to accompany him through a cave to the surface. Tokahe did so and, upon reaching the surface, saw the green grass and blue sky for the first time. Iŋktomi and Ite introduced Tokahe to buffalo meat and showed him tipis, clothing, hunting clubs, and bows and arrows. Tokahe returned to the underworld village and appealed to six other men and their families to go with him to the Earth’s surface.
When they arrived, they discovered that Iŋktomi had deceived Tokahe. The buffalo were scarce; the weather had turned bad, and they found themselves starving. Unable to return to their home, but armed with a new knowledge about the world, they survived to become the founders of the Seven Council Fires.
The Seven Council Fires . . . or Oćeti Šakowiŋ . . . are the Mdewakanton, the Wahpeton, the Wahpekute, the Sisseton, the Yankton, the Yanktonai, and the Lakota.
After Tokahe led the six families to the surface of the earth, they wandered for many winters. Sons were born and sons died. Winters passed, more winters than could be counted. That was before Oćeti Šakowiŋ. But not until White Buffalo Calf Woman did the humans become Dakota.
Two scouts were hunting the buffalo when they came to the top of a small hill. A long way off, they observed the figure of a woman. As she approached, they saw that she was beautiful. She was young and carried a wakiŋ. One of the scouts had lustful thoughts and told the other. His friend told him that she was sacred and to banish such thoughts.
The woman came up to them and said to the one with the lustful thoughts, “If you would do what you are thinking, come forward.” The scout moved and stood before her and a white cloud covered them from sight.
When the woman stepped from the cloud, it blew away. There on the ground, at the beautiful woman’s feet, lay a pile of bones with worms crawling in and among them.
The woman told the other scout to go to his village and tell his people that she was coming, for them to build a medicine tipi large enough to hold all the chiefs of the nation. She said, “I bring a great gift to your people.”
When the people heard the scout’s story, they constructed the lodge, and put on their finest clothing, then stood about the lodge and waited.
As the woman entered the village, she sang:
‘With visible breath I am walking.
A voice I am sending as I walk.
In a sacred manner I am walking.
With visible tracks I am walking.
In a sacred manner I walk.’
She handed the wakiŋ to the head chief and he withdrew a pipe from the bundle. On one side of the pipe was carved a bison calf. “The bison represents the earth, which will house and feed you,” she said.
Thirteen eagle feathers hung from the wooden stem. White Buffalo Calf Woman told the chiefs, “The feathers represent the sky and the thirteen moons. With this pipe, you shall prosper. With this pipe, you shall speak with Wakaŋ Taŋ՜ka (God). With this pipe, you shall become The People. With this pipe, you shall be bound with the Earth for She is your mother. She is sacred. With this pipe, you shall be bound to your relatives.
Having given the pipe to the People, and having said what she had to say, she turned and walked four paces from the lodge and sat down.
When she arose, she was a red-and-brown buffalo calf. She walked on, lay down and came up as a black buffalo calf. Walking still farther, she turned into a white buffalo and stood upon a hill. She turned to bow in the four directions of the four winds and then she vanished.
Because of White Buffalo Calf Woman, the Dakota honor our mother the Earth; they honor their parents and their grandparents. They honor the birds of the sky; they honor the beasts of the earth. They know that Wakaŋ Taŋ՜ka resides in all animals, in all trees and plants and rocks and stones. Wakaŋ Taŋ՜ka is in all. They know that Wakaŋ Taŋ՜ka lives in each of us.
Because of White Buffalo Calf Woman, they have become Dakota.

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About the Author

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and fifty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY.
Andrew ll
You can find Andrew and his books throughout one of the links below:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo
Smashwords
Andrewjoyce.com
Facebook
About Anne (231 Articles)
Dutch book reviewer who reviews in English. Grammar nazis beware!! I like brownies. And chamomile tea.

55 Comments on Guest Post: Lakota by Andrew Joyce

  1. This was a great + interesting guest post… I loved reading the creation story of Dakota!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Really interesting guest post. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Really Interesting post! I read Dee Brown’s book of the Battle at Little Big Horn, and I wanted to read Burry My Heart at Wounded Knee, but I couldn’t make myself read it. Again, great post ^_^

    Liked by 3 people

  4. What an interesting post!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I like this Anne!!! Since I live in America this was super cool for me to read because it has history to the Indian Reservations that still exist =)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is really fascinating. I wasn’t certain what to expect from this story, and it definitely wasn’t this! The Native American peoples have such fascinating mythology. I wish I knew more about it!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Is this written from the Native American POV?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have no idea actually, but I’m sure Andrew will have an answer for you once he sees this 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes it is. To the extent that I learned the Lakota language.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Did you have a sensitiviuty reader? “Learning” a language has nothing to do with knowing a culture well enough to speak for them from their POV. You have already used anglicized terms in the above text. Sorry for being a downer, but I am all too close to this subject and I was going to just pass on by, but my heart would not let me. I am a firm believer in #OwnVoices. Too many people read books thinking they are getting the correct information and they are not. Please let marginalized groups tell their own story.

          Like

      • I agree with La La … to a point. But genocide is genocide whether you call it Dachau or Wounded Knee. Does one have to be Jewish to write about the Holocaust?

        Liked by 1 person

        • If you are writing from the Jewish perspective, I would hope so! The problem is it is a huge no no for non indigenous co-opt indigenous narratives in the US today, especially from a Native American POV. There are tribally affiliated authors writing these stories . It is even frowned upon for one tribal nation to write about another’s history. It just isn’t done anymore. Plus, from reading the info above, with all of the anglicizations, what he immersed himself in was the outdated white version of history. Even if sympathetic, we need to be moving past those narratives and read Own Voices stories.

          There is a tribally affiliated Pueblo with a PHD in American Literature who has a list of Children’s, Middle Grade, and YA books authored by Native Americans and First Nations peoples. I asked her today if she knows of a list for Adult Fiction. If she gives me one I will post the link.

          Sorry about being negative, but this just hits to close to home for me. I feel awful, but my heart wouldn’t let me skip over this post.

          Like

          • If you get that list, I will make a separate post of it so we can see this topic from several perspectives. With my limited amount of knowledge on the subject, I’m going to remain a bit of a Switzerland in this discussion :). I understand the importance of Own Voices stories, but I can also understand that as long as the story is told with genuine empathy, it counts for something as well. Which is all easy for me to say because, hardly any knowledge plus zero experience here.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Here is the first info to come in, but there will be more. I just remembered that I actually know a Lakota author who writes Contemporary YA. She will probablky have some suggestions, too.

          http://birchbarkbooks.com/memoir-and-biography

          Like

        • You know, if a non indigenous author just has to write about Native American history then by all means write it, but not from the indigenous point of view.There are plenty of Native Americans telling their own tribal stories. Let them tell it. I know when I read about other cultures I want to know it is from first hand knowledge. That way I know I am not basing any of my thoughts and ideas on weak or maybe unintentionally misguided research.

          I would also like to know what this author’s definition of “immersion” is because that is a huge eye-roller for people in marginalized groups.

          Liked by 1 person

      • It’s called “empathy” and most humans have it. I don’t have to be a woman to write about the treatment some women endure and I don’t have to be a Jew to write about the holocaust. And I don’t have to be a dog to write about the mistreatment of animals.

        Liked by 1 person

        • But you wouldn’t write it from the woman’s POV, would you? Let’s put it this way, if a white guy wrote a story about slavery from a black slave’s POV there would be outrage, at least I hope there would be. People should view white guys writing about Native Americans from the indigenous POV in the same way. Just write it as a white male onlooker, just in case your narrative ends up being less than authentic because you had to research it instead of living it, or hearing oral histories from your grandparents !

          Liked by 1 person

  8. My Grandmother was full blooded Ojibwe and having worked on Indian Reservations for 25 years, I am always suspect of non-natives writing about the culture. Still, this sounds interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow! You have a very fascinating heritage all around! I’m pretty sure Andrew here has done his research thoroughly but I can totally understand where you’re coming from as well. I’d probably feel the same way! You could give it a shot to see for yourself 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with you about non-natives writing about Native Americans. All I can say is that for almost six years while I wrote the book, I immersed myself in the Dakota/Lakota culture of the 19th century to the point of learning the language.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Hi, you’ve written such a candid post and, having read Yellow Hair, I just wanted to give just my opinion on your concern. I see the author replied below, and I would say that his immersion into that culture and history was very evident to me as I read it. But at least as important as that was the sense I got that he was (is) sympathetic and empathetic….and deeply outraged at the deplorable way white settlers and the US government treated the indigenous peoples. Anyway, just my two cents, for what it’s worth. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  9. This is such an informative post! I really need to know more about Native American history. I will probably read this several times to let it all sink in. I am embarrassed by how little I know 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Not only a great post, but the book is really interesting and an eye-opener. I loved it, as painful as it was to read, it’s an important story, all based in fact. To those of you who commented about wanting to know more, you could google it, of course, but you might want to check out Yellow Hair, too. Mr. Joyce explains the history in a way that is very easy to absorb–and very hard to forget. A compelling read.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I guess I have two more cents . . . a writer doesn’t need a “sensitivity reader” if they have something else – it’s called empathy. Are you, La La Library, saying that a human being can’t feel, can’t understand, and therefore can’t write about the sufferings of other human beings? If so, then those that try to keep a light shining on injustices around the world by writing about them really ought to keep their thoughts to themselves.

    I’d like to comment on your other point. A writer of historical fiction always gives the reader “correct” information IF they have done their research, and–after having actually read Yellow Hair–I’d say that this writer did his homework. I understand your support for Own Voices, nothing wrong with having an agenda like that. But since you made judgments about the book being featured here, I would challenge you to actually read it. Then you’d have the right to judge its historical accuracy and the writer’s “right” to tell the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. La La and Emily have good points. It is a pretty emotionally charged and sensitive area especially when digging up wounds of the past. I will say that the perspectives change within the Tribes as well as from Tribe to Tribe as to whom delivers the story. Some want it said, some don’t want it out there with a progressive spin, some think it should remain an oral history or uniquely native. Some natives feel that no matter how immersed one makes oneself they can never truly understand. Most don’t give a shjt what anyone writes. But that is for another debate. I will say that the “white people are bad rhetoric” wears thin as it continues to tarnish the image of the “Nation” as hate, in any form usually does. Anyone who works on a reservation who is non-native WILL experience the anathema in some form or another.

    The veracity of the story teller will always be questioned and may piss off people who reside in a particular camp. That camp has every right to question the intent of the teller without reprisal.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. bookheathen // 05/11/2016 at 16:49 // Reply

    What a wonderful story!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Anne,
    As if you don’t already have a list of awards to finish up, I decided to nominate you once again for another award, but if I am not mistaken, I don’t think you have been nominated for this one so it may be kind of fun 🙂 have a wonderful Saturday xxx

    Shay-lon

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Forgot to mention, it is the mystery blogger award, at this link: https://fitness9555.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/the-mystery-blogger-award/

    Liked by 2 people

  16. How nice to let your author friend post. I will be good and not say anything inappropriate, out of respect.
    (But I can still think inappropriate thoughts…and you won’t know! 😂)

    Liked by 1 person

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  1. Andrew Joyce Guest Post (Inspiration-Lakota). – TheTattooedBookGeek

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