My Indian Boyhood, New Edition

My Indian Boyhood, New Edition

Luther Standing Bear

Language: English

Pages: 198

ISBN: 0803293348

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Although the traditional Sioux nation was in its last days when Luther Standing Bear was born in the 1860s, he was raised in the ancestral manner to be a successful hunter and warrior and a respectful and productive member of Sioux society. Known as Plenty Kill, young Standing Bear belonged to the Western Sioux tribe that inhabited present-day North and South Dakota. In My Indian Boyhood he describes the home life and education of Indian children. Like other boys, he played with toy bows and arrows in the tipi before learning to make and use them and became schooled in the ways of animals and in the properties of plants and herbs. His life would be very different from that of his ancestors, but he was not denied the excitement of killing his first buffalo before leaving to attend the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania.

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be over the pony's back, but our head and body would be out of sight. We would ride this way until after considerable practice we would be able to stay in this position at full speed with just our heel over the pony's back. Only a foot would be visible to the enemy, so there was not much to shoot at. Then we trained our pony to walk or run right up to anything we wanted him to. We picked out a good-sized bush, shrub, or trunk of a tree. Our pony was trained to run up as close as he could to the

into the proper shape and size. It was covered with buckskin and two handles put on it for the arm of the warrior. It was then decorated with the designs of the Sioux either by the medicine man or the warrior himself. In either case the symbols or drawings that were painted on the shield were equal in sense to a motto which might read, 'Your faith will keep you safe.' After the painting was done, eagle feathers were fastened on with dyed buckskin strings. When the warring days of the Sioux were

the people that a new chief was to be chosen. This was a very serious matter and not to be done in haste, but with care and much council. No man must be chosen unless he had shown himself fully worthy of the honor and no man would be chosen unless he had the respect and confidence of all the people. Even though a young man was the son or grandson of a chief, he would not be chosen for this high office if he had displeased his people. The young man chosen had proved himself good and brave. And now

faith as they were. He seemed to lead a charmed life in battle. He exposed himself openly to both Indian foes and to the troops of the white man, yet he was never even wounded. My father, I claim, was the greatest chief who ever lived the lives of both the Indian and the white man. For in his later years he lived according to Christian principles and tried to be a good citizen of this country. He encouraged me to go to school and to learn as much as I could of the life that was so different from

his head got the duck. He plainly showed his disappointment in not getting a chance to show me how his gun worked, yet we were lucky to get our duck. I was the one, to be sure, who laughed first, and though my brother could not help being a little disappointed, he laughed with me. While still too small to use bows and arrows or guns, we not only threw stones by hand. We had throwing games in which we became expert marksmen. We would select a pliant willow stick, flatten it a little at one end,

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