Friday, November 15, 2013
Friday Books: Nerburn, Dan, Grover, Winona, and Jumbo
The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo: A Child, an Elder, and the Light from an Ancient Sky is another fabulous book by Kent Nerburn. This one follows Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder and The Wolf at Twilight: An Indian Elder's Journey through a Land of Ghosts and Shadows. In this one Nerburn has another adventure in Lakota Indian country (South Dakota) with his friends Dan, Grover, Winona, and Jumbo. He learns many amazing things, deepens his friendships, and we, as readers, are privy to much wisdom and knowledge from them all.
This book gives historical account of an asylum that was built in Canton, South Dakota. It was an "asylum for insane Indians." Of course many people incarcerated there were not crazy but only held strongly to their culture, language, and beliefs which differed from white society. One of these was a little girl who was deaf. Imagine her fear and confusion upon being put into such a place! The conditions there were terrible: people were chained to their beds and left for days with no services but a tiny bit of awful food.
I have said before and will say again -- I continue to try hard to get my mind into the mode of Lakota culture, to better understand their perspective on the world. I wish I could achieve this to a deeper degree; I'm still trying, and this book is an enormous help.
This book has stayed with me; I am nurturing its lessons in my mind and pondering its meanings. This book is profound. I'm so thankful for Nerburn's books and the lessons he shares with us through his friends Dan, Grover, Winona, Jumbo, and others. I highly recommend all three of these wonderful books.