Waterlily

$15.00 each

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A life story of the Dakota people, as their lives were beginning to be disrupted by the wasichu. Told from a woman’s viewpoint, it emphasizes the traditional network of obligations and relationships that formed cultural unity.

Available in paperback only.  Ella Cara Deloria (Yankton), Waterlily. 1990

Waterlily, finished in 1947 and not published during Deloria’s life, is a novel, a life story of the Dakota people, as their lives were beginning to be disrupted by the wasichu. Told from a woman’s viewpoint, it emphasizes the traditional network of obligations and relationships that formed cultural unity. It’s a good story, and woven into it are the solidly based facts of actual plains life: “Teton children loved to give. As far back as they could remember they had been made to give or their elders gave in their name, honoring them, until they learned to feel a responsibility to do so. Furthermore, they found it pleasant to be thanked graciously and have their ceremonial names spoken aloud. For giving was basic to Dakota life. The idea behind it was this: if everyone gives, then everyone gets; it is inevitable. And so old men and women preached continuously: Be hospitable. Be generous. Nothing is too good for giving away. The children grew up hearing that, until it was a fixed notion.”