Book review: Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog
The book Lakota Woman is an autobiography of Mary Crow Dog, an Indian woman who tells a story of her hard life as a Sioux Indian in the American white community. Mary Crow Dog has been married to a medicine man Leonard Crow Dog and he is the one, who helped her to find her identity and become a real Indian woman through traditional religion and cultural practices.
Indigenous peoples are survivors, as Burger (1987) says- “mainly they are survivors because they have not been fully accepted and drawn fully into the social, political and economic life of nation’s states they belong to”. Mary Crow Dog was ‘iyeska’, a half-blood Indian woman; she had some white blood from her father’s side. She wished she could purify herself from this. As far as in the childhood she understood that she hates everything that is associated with white people. Her mother is Catholic, she has brought her up with it, however Mary told her one day that she does not want to be like them, she wants to be an Indian - “I am gonna grow up to be an Indian” (p.94), and her mother did not want to hear about that, because she knew that it will mean a constant struggle for survival.
During her childhood she already experienced struggles for survival of her own individuality. She points out that men drank because they had no work and nothing to live for. Mary has also taught to drink at age ten, has been beaten at age twelve and has been raped at age fifteen. Her life was not easy but she did not want to make a compromise with others. Mary’s mother underwent training and became a nurse. She had to travel 100 miles to work. Mary was then forced to go to a boarding school. It was there that she first came into contact with racism and misunderstanding. Her first cultural encounters with white people begun also at school, she always got into troubles and conflicts because she could not hold social inequalities that surrounded her...