Lakota Woman Essay

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Lakota Woman Lakota Woman is a autobiography written by Mary Crow Dog a half, Sioux, half white woman. In this book she addresses the issues that Indians faced in the 1970’s. She describes her childhood and many historical events associated with the American Indian Movement (AIM). Mary Crow Dog paints a clear account of her personal life as well as the struggles of the traditional Native American women within the tribes. She also describes the ill treatment of Native Americans as a whole by the government and their persistence to assimilate the Indians. I believe her intentions for writing this book were to inform the American people of the cruel and horrific treatment of the Native Americans and to educate them in ways the history books conveniently do not. As a child, Mary was forced into boarding school in an attempt to assimilate the Native children where they literally tried beat the Sioux out of you. Mary’s mother also attended boarding school and encouraged Mary to go and learn the white mans ways. Mary becomes a rebellious teenager, quits school and embraces her traditions, culture and looks to the elders for advice. In her early struggles, while finding her identity within the Sioux people, she encounters abuse and contempt but finally gains the acceptance she has been longing for. Unfortunately, she also finds that among her people, a patriarchal society still exists. Women were seen as sex objects and a woman on her period is forced to stay away from all rituals. “It’s not that a woman during her ‘moontime’ is considered unclean, but she is looked upon as being ‘too powerful’” and “a woman during her period possesses a strange force which could render a healing ceremony ineffective”. (p. 67) At the age of 15 she was raped. Girls rarely speak of rape because the cops always say, “they are always asking for it”. (p. 68) In 1971, Mary was introduced
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