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Being Lakota: Identity and Tradition on Pine Ridge by Larissa Petrillo

By Larissa Petrillo

Being Lakota explores modern Lakota identification and culture in the course of the life-story narratives of Melda and Lupe Trejo. Melda Trejo, n?e pink endure (1939–), is an Oglala Lakota from Pine Ridge Reservation, whereas Lupe Trejo (1938–99) is Mexican and a long-time resident at Pine Ridge. of their 40 years jointly, the Trejos raised 11 youngsters, supported themselves as migrant employees, and celebrated their lives and cultural heritage. Conversations among this Lakota/Mexican couple and student Larissa Petrillo exhibit key elements of the couple’s daily life: what it capacity to be an Indian and Lakota; how they negotiate their assorted ethnic identities; their emotions approximately contemporary matters with appropriating Lakota spiritual practices and ideology; and the tenets of Lakota spirituality that form their perceptions and activities. those concerns are highlighted as they discuss their studies constructing a Sundance rite. within the overdue Eighties they all started keeping a Sundance at the purple endure family’s land close to Allen, South Dakota, and the rite used to be devoted to Lupe after his death. Being Lakota deepens our figuring out of recent Lakota lifestyles and offers a memorable glimpse of the alternatives and paths taken through participants in a local neighborhood. It additionally serves to discover new methods to collaborative ethnography, with reflections on studying to paintings good in a local neighborhood. (20080609)

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Sample text

Big one! Huge! Biggest one I’ve ever seen in my whole life. And I know he wants to tell me something. And me, I want to kill it. I got up and he went like this and jump up and jump down. Jump up and jump down. But then he really scared me. He turned his head all the way around. Like an owl. And his eyes 20 Long Time Ago turned color. I was staring at her and she was staring at me. And then it opened its mouth and started saying something to me. But I got in my pickup and took off. Went home. I didn’t drink that beer or nothing like that.

But my grandfather was white, you know. Light complexion, blue eyes. I’ve got four cousins—two boys, two girls—who have green eyes. Really green eyes. It comes from the English side, you know. There’s an old picture of my grandma. My mother’s mother. Dressed like a white woman. A long time ago when they had those hats. And a dress like the white woman. In the olden days. My mother was always there for us all the time. She had a hard life taking care of us kids. There were about eleven of us all together.

We just sit down and talk real good. So I think my dad’s teaching was real good. Lupe and me both come from strict families. Really strict. But, I 24 They Come from the Family never got spanked. They just always talked to us. ” So we touch our ears. Both of them. ” He said, “God gave you those ears for one reason. And you use it. ” So he talks to us like that. Oh, he made us go through that . . touch your ears. And, my mom always say that your brains is still nunshila. It means you can’t think, you could get mad, you can’t think good things.

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