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Including many rare photographs, The Ways of My Grandmothers is an authentic contribution to our knowledge and understanding of Native American lore -- and a classic that will speak to women everywhere.
Originally published in 1990, Lakota Woman was a national best seller and winner of the American Book Award. It is a unique document, unparalleled in American Indian literature, a story of death, of determination against all odds, of the cruelties perpetuated against American Indians, and of the Native American struggle for rights. Working with Richard Erdoes, one of the twentieth century's leading writers on Native American affairs, Brave Bird recounts her difficult upbringing and the path of her fascinating life.
Blending autobiography and history, with traditional knowledge and ways of life, Medicine Trail presents a collage of events in Tantaquidgeon's life. We see her childhood spent learning Mohegan ceremonies and healing methods at the hands of her tribal grandmothers, and her Ivy League education and career in the white male-dominated field of anthropology. We also witness her travels to other Indian communities, acting as both an ambassador of her own tribe and an employee of the federal government's Bureau of Indian Affairs. Finally we see Tantaquidgeon's return to her beloved Mohegan Hill, where she co-founded America's oldest Indian-run museum, carrying on her life's commitment to good medicine and the cultural continuance and renewal of all Indian nations.
Written in the Mohegan oral tradition, this book offers a unique insider's understanding of Mohegan and other Native American cultures while discussing the major policies and trends that have affected people throughout Indian Country in the twentieth century. A significant departure from traditional anthropological "as told to" American Indian autobiography, Medicine Trail represents a major contribution to anthropology, history, theology, women's studies, and Native American studies.
She became the Ghigau, or "Beloved," "Honored," "Red," or "War" Woman of the Cherokee, and head of the Women's Council. This council had authority over vetoing wars (hence the internal Cherokee political conflict with her cousin Dragging Canoe), war parties, and deciding the fate of prisoners. She would use all of these powers during her eventful lifetime. As the Beloved Woman, she was also an influential spokesperson in the chief's councils. She also acted as a "cultural broker" to many European Americans who crowded in on the Cherokees in the southern Appalachian highlands.