Sun Chief: The Autobiography of a Hopi Indian

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Yale University Press, 1942 - Biography & Autobiography - 460 pages
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Don C. Talayesva of Oraibi, Arizona, the Sun Chief, was an individual caught between two cultures. He was born, and reared until he was ten, as a Hopi Indian, and then trained until twenty to be an American citizen. Although torn between two worlds, he returned to Hopiland, renounced Christianity, entered into tribal adulthood, joined secret socities, and worshiped the rain gods in elaborate rituals and dances. For Leo Simmons, a white man who was adopted as a clan brother, he finally wrote the story of his life in all its extraordinary detail. Dr. Simmons prepared this story for publication and has added a valuable introduction, supplemented and brought up to date by Robert V. Hine. -- from back cover.
 

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As a primitive skills practitioner with a special interest in Native American culture I thogoughly enjoyed this book and finished it much faster than most books I read. If you're interested in the effects ones culture has on ones way of thinking and life decisions I would highly recommend it as well. Don is an amazingly interesting character with a lot of heart and no sense of real shame for his shortcomings. The way it is written may not flow well or keep some interested but that's because it was written by someone with a scanty command of the english language, although it was edited by a Yale professor Don's personality, wit, and character are imbedded into every line. Highly recommend!!! 

Contents

INTRODUCTION The Project and the Procedure
1
The Hopi in Oraibi
10
Autobiography
23
Twins Twisted into One
25
Childhood Crises and Early Memories
35
Learning to Live
51
Mischief and Discipline
70
School on the Reservation
88
Clowning and the Bean Ceremony
179
Magic and Marriage
198
Subsistence in the Desert
224
Prosperity and Adversity
258
Changes in Family Life
296
New Crises
328
Life Goes On
362
APPENDIX A An Example of Situational Analysis
401

School off the Reservation
114
The Return to Hopiland
135
The Making of a Man
157
Identification of Dons Relatives
437
INDEX
457
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