Lame Deer Essay

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Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions by Richard Erdoes Plot Summary Richard Erdoes, author of LAME DEER, SEEKER OF VISIONS, has accomplished the monumental task of providing a definitive depiction of the American Indian through the eyes of a Sioux medicine man. From an inordinate amount of time and reflection, he has transcribed hours of interviews, both written and taped, over a period of years of friendship with Lame Deer, and has successfully portrayed the amazingly rich history and heritage of Indian culture, of the religious beliefs, the rituals and ceremonies, the significant legends, the practice of medicine, the historical desecration of the Indian population, and the injustices and environmental destruction heaped upon a people and a land that is held in sacred reverence. Beginning with the life story of Lame Deer, the reader is lead through the coming of age of a young Indian boy, destined to become a revered medicine man, his sojourns into white society, his experiences with productive and unproductive pursuits, to his maturation into an elderly leader who wants little more than the dignity that his people and his earth deserve. Once the life story has been related, Lame Deer is then able to recall, in accurate and amazing detail, the Indian use of natural medicines, the traditional rituals and ceremonies that provide the Sioux nation with its identity and its sense of self, and the critical symbolism of every act performed. One emerges from this reading in complete awe of the spirituality of this people - its complete reverence for all nature, its respect for each animal and plant, its understanding that every living thing has a purpose within the great spiritual realm, and the existence of the Great Spirit within all things. The complete unification of the Indian with his spiritual beliefs, moreover, leads one to wonder whether the white man could not take a

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