Indian Boyhood

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Courier Dover Publications, 1902 - Biography & Autobiography - 247 pages
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"Indian Boyhood" is Eastman's first-hand reminiscence of the life he led until he was fifteen with the nomadic Sioux. Left motherless at birth, he tells how his grandmother saved him from relatives who offered to care for him "until he died." It was that grandmother who sang him the traditional Indian lullabies which are meant to cultivate bravery in all male babies, who taught him not to cry at night (for fear of revealing the whereabouts of the Sioux camp to hostile tribes), and who first explained to him some of the skills he would need to survive as an adult in the wilds. Eastman remembers the uncle who taught him the skills of the hunt and the war-path, and how his day began at first light, when his uncle would startle him from sleep with a terrifying whoop, in response to which the young boy was expected to jump fully alert to his feet, and rush outside, bow in hand, returning the yell that had just awakened him. Yet all Indian life did not consist in training and discipline. In time of abundance and even in famine, Indian children had much time for sport and games of combat - races, lacrosse, and wrestling were all familiar to Eastman and his childhood friends.
  

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Contents

II
3
III
10
IV
17
V
24
VI
30
VII
39
VIII
41
IX
51
XVIII
121
XIX
132
XX
143
XXI
153
XXII
161
XXIII
163
XXIV
170
XXV
181

X
53
XI
63
XII
73
XIII
85
XIV
97
XV
99
XVI
108
XVII
119
XXVI
183
XXVII
193
XXVIII
200
XXIX
209
XXX
215
XXXI
227
XXXII
237
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About the author (1902)

A Santee Sioux, born in Red Falls, Minnesota, Charles Eastman was raised by his grandmother and uncle in Manitoba, Canada, where he learned Native American traditions and lore. As a teenager he returned to his father's family and attended mission schools and Beloit College. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1887 and from Boston University School of Medicine in 1890. Although his background made him unwelcome in some parts of white society and his education made him uneasy in Native American cultures, he worked for his people throughout his life as a doctor, as a representative in Washington, D.C., and as a founder of the Society of American Indians. His first published book, Indian Boyhood (1902), written for children, tells the stories and traditions of the Sioux nation. Red Hunters and the Animal People (1904), Old Indian Days (1907), and Wigwam Evenings (1909), written with the help of his wife, Elaine Goodale Eastman, continue in this vein, but his later work, including The Soul of the Indian (1911), The Indian Today (1915), and his autobiography, From the Deep Woods to Civilization (1916), attempts to interpret Native American culture for white society, describing the problems of assimilation.

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