An Indigenous History
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
In Lakȟóta culture, “listening” is a cardinal virtue, connoting respect, and here authors Rani-Henrik Andersson and David C. Posthumus listen to the Lakȟóta, both past and present. The history of Lakȟóta culture unfolds in this narrative as the people lived it.
Fittingly, Lakhota: An Indigenous History opens with an origin story, that of White Buffalo Calf Woman (Ptesanwin) and her gift of the sacred pipe to the Lakȟóta people. Drawing on winter counts, oral traditions and histories, and Lakȟóta letters and speeches, the narrative proceeds through such periods and events as early Lakȟóta-European trading, the creation of the Great Sioux Reservation, Christian missionization, the Plains Indian Wars, the Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee (1890), the Indian New Deal, and self-determination, as well as recent challenges like the #NoDAPL movement and management of Covid-19 on reservations. This book centers Lakȟóta experience, as when it shifts the focus of the Battle of Little Bighorn from Custer to fifteen-year-old Black Elk, or puts American Horse at the heart of the negotiations with the Crook Commission, or explains the Lakȟóta agenda in negotiating the Fort Laramie Treaty in 1851.
The picture that emerges—of continuity and change in Lakȟóta culture from its distant beginnings to issues in our day—is as sweeping and intimate, and as deeply complex, as the lived history it encompasses.
“In this rangy, ambitious work, Rani-Henrik Andersson and David C. Posthumus center Lakȟóta voices, language, and conceptual worlds to craft a stunning narrative that takes readers on a journey far removed from old familiar histories. Lakȟóta: An Indigenous History is a remarkable and important contribution, one not to be missed.”—Philip J. Deloria, author of Becoming Mary Sully: Toward an American Indian Abstract
“This book surpasses earlier histories of the Lakȟóta. With its meticulous attention to the distinctive cultural and complex political foundations of the Lakȟóta, it sets a new standard in Plains Indian scholarship.”—Mark van de Logt, author of War Party in Blue: Pawnee Scouts in the U.S. Army
“Lakȟóta: An Indigenous History brilliantly contextualizes winter counts and other Lakȟóta sources to reveal a Native point of view on events commonly interpreted through a Western lens.”—Candace S. Greene, coeditor of The Year the Stars Fell: Lakota Winter Counts at the Smithsonian
"In revealing how Lakhota traditions illuminate this people's perspectives on their own past, Rani-Henrik Andersson and David C. Posthumus have rendered a clear, comprehensive exploration of Lakhota experience, initiative, and endurance. Lakhota: An Indigenous History is a rare achievement."—Louis S. Warren, author of God’s Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion and the Making of Modern America