"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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