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Waterlily This novel of the Dakota Sioux written by Sioux ethnologist Deloria takes protagonist Waterlily through the everyday and the extraordinary events of a Sioux woman s life

  • Title: Waterlily
  • Author: Ella Cara Deloria Raymond J. Demallie
  • ISBN: 9780803265790
  • Page: 176
  • Format: Paperback
  • This novel of the Dakota Sioux written by Sioux ethnologist Deloria takes protagonist Waterlily through the everyday and the extraordinary events of a Sioux woman s life.

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      176 Ella Cara Deloria Raymond J. Demallie
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      Posted by:Ella Cara Deloria Raymond J. Demallie
      Published :2018-012-12T12:47:58+00:00

    1 thought on “Waterlily

    1. Waterlily is an important and complex book. It isn't quite historical record nor does it read like most historical fiction. Deloria vividly recreates everyday life for the Dakotas in the nineteenth-century from field research and interviews. She tells the story of Blue Bird, her daughter Waterlily, and, their society built of kinship rules. A difficult read the point lies less in development of characters and more in the development of the time period. This is further complicated by the fact th [...]

    2. The first Native American(another powerful Sioux woman) to become a linguist and to scientifically put Sioux language on the map. Her family is still strong within both the Dakota and the academic community.(one of her descendents, Vine DeLoria headed the American Indian Law Dept at Berkeley). This is a coming of age novel set in the Dakota community around the time when the first western settlers were coming to what we now call the US. What is beautiful and endearing about this book is that it [...]

    3. I wouldn't read this primarily for its literary merits, I would read it to learn about the Dakota way of life through an anthropological lens. That said, I did come to genuinely believe in and care about the characters, so the book is not *without* literary merit. I never got bored. Ella Deloria stops at least once a page to explain the customs of the characters, which interrupts the narrative, but because I actually wanted to learn about these customs, I didn't mind that. I loved it. And I am n [...]

    4. I'm reading this for a book discussion. It was not one that I would normally have chosen. However, I quickly got drawn into Blue Bird and Waterlily's story. I saw other reviews say that this was slow moving, and I can only think this is because it is about an ordinary life. I found Waterlily beautifully written, and I gained much appreciation for the Sioux way of life.

    5. This book was read in preparation of my upcoming trip to South Dakota in January for an immersion to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Reading this book on Lakota life really opened up new doors for me. I don't think I've ever read anything about Native Americans, much less such a lucid novel about one woman in the tribe. The writing is clear and to the point without much fluff. It's written by 1/4 Indian in the 20th century who had done significant ethnography on Lakotas and their language. It [...]

    6. A simple, yet insightful, look at Sioux life. Struck yet again by the beauty, restraint and complex social rules of the Sioux way. The hospitality, the responsibility, the strong sense of community is all portrayed in rich detail. A way of life that disappeared so our way could come - what shame and sadness.

    7. This is a "must read" for anyone interested in plains history. An authentic picture of Native American Life, written by a Native American with a ph.d

    8. This is a great showpiece of Dakota culture at the turn of the century. So much culture is expressed in the story of a young woman - it is calculated to capture as much of the culture as possible in the story of Waterlily from birth up to her second marriage. Just a great book; I wanted to live inside it's world more than any book I've read in a good long time. (March 16, 2012)On a second reading, I am again struck by the careful construction Deloria had to exert in order to seamlessly integrate [...]

    9. I really enjoyed reading this book. Ella Cara Deloria's character development of Waterlily allows the reader to see what her culture is like. I laughed when Waterlily and her family cheered on Lawanla as he was very brave and went throught the agonies of his first Sun Dance, and I was very sad for Sacred Horse when he faced the very long and cold night alone. I only have one complaint: this book should have been longer. There are so many other things about the Dakota Indians that I would still l [...]

    10. An excellent historical fiction story, "Waterlily" By Ella Cara Deloria, amazed me at how these people lived in such a harsh environment. The manners they taught their children led to good people who were family oriented and respected both man and their environment. The young males dedicated themselves to their tribe by doing the Sun Dance where they lived through torturous acts. Females dedicated themselves to caring for their family as well as those in the tribe who needed their help also. The [...]

    11. This is a simple, placid read. It's more of a fictional biography than a novel, with no obvious ongoing conflict and no grandiose swoops of plot and arcs of character. Rather, the book is a subtle explanation and clarification of Dakota (Sioux) culture through the coming-of-age story of the main character, Waterlily. It's not a quick and easy read, but it is peaceful and satisfying. Even the bits about smallpox, in a weird sort of way.Waterlily is a very dignified book. If you like that sort of [...]

    12. I thought that because it was an assigned reading for my native american history class that this book was going to be dry. I found it to be quite the opposite and really enjoyed learning about the family dynamics found in the Dakota tribe. I would highly recommend this story to anyone interested in learning more about Native Americans.

    13. It is very interesting to read a story from the Native American point of view during the start of the "Manifest Destiny" era. While the writing style is a not my favorite, it is written in a way that anyone can understand. The severe lack of comparable novels makes this a must read, especially for anyone interested in the other side of Native American history which is not usually taught in k-12.

    14. Read this many years ago, but I remember I absolutely loved it. I felt like I was in the lives and culture of the charactors. Deloria has extensive knowledge of Souix culture and translated it beautifully into what I believe to be (and sadly) her only novel

    15. The life of nomadic Sioux tribes is told from a woman's perspective. For someone who is interested in Native American history, this is a must read.

    16. Waterlily is a bit of a slow read at times, but it is an important and interesting story, since it documents the traditional lifestyles, customs, and social/kinship bonds of the Dakota people, via the vehicle of the tale of Waterlily. It also details some of the effects of contact, since Waterlily grows up in a community that has no contact with white settlers but lives for a time in a community that does. This is a story I wish everyone on Turtle Island could read to counteract the false ideas [...]

    17. Narratives from anyone are very important, and this book truly showcases the power of perspective and history. I was not a fan of the ethnographic content and the self-censorship to cater to a popular audience when it was expected to be published, but Deloria is valid for writing this novel. Writing from a female perspective in the Dakota tribe is an exciting feat due to the rarity of it being published. I recommend this book to people who are interested in the Dakota culture or into enthonograp [...]

    18. This was an amazing read. Some nights I didn't want to put the book down because I wanted to know what happened next. Beautifully written. Loved the characters. Some scenes made me very sad and others made me very happy. Loved this. I wish the author was alive and could write more stories about the Dakota women.

    19. I'm not really sure how to rate this, or even how to categorize it. Not quite a novel, not quite an ethnography, but some fascinating blend of the two. It took a long, long time to read, but it felt worth it. Reminded me why I studied anthropology.

    20. Waterlily remains a novel that I struggle with on multiple levels. To begin, if I were rating the novel entirely on its plot or as a "just for fun" read then I think that my rating would be different. However, I'm taking into consideration my use of this novel in my Ph.D. Comprehensive Exams and therefore am rating it based on its merit as part of the American Indian Literary canon. And, in that respect, I have some troubles that don't allow me to get past a 3-star rating. The novel itself is ab [...]

    21. This has found a place on my all time favorite book list. Written in the 1940s, it is the story of Dakota Sioux culture before the white man came. Told from a woman's perspective, it's a warm loving story of a loving culture long since disappeared. The author was educated at Oberlin and became the leading expert on her heritage.

    22. Ella Deloria is part of a family of storytellers, thinkers, and activists. Even if the reader knows little of this going into Waterlily, it quickly becomes apparent that this is not just the simple story of a young woman named Waterlily; rather, this is a story framed around the life of that young woman that is intended to teach the uneducated reader the sophisticated, complicated, and beautiful way of living through kinship bonds.Deloria wrote the story of Waterlily with the intention of delibe [...]

    23. "Grandson, speech is holy; it is not intended to be set free only to be wasted. It is for hearing and remembering." g. 50 "The tribe's concern was that its girls should become women and its boys men through normal and progressive steps without complications. And in the case of the boys, this was as peculiarly delicate matter because of the belief that a boy who was allowed to play girls' games and wear female dress was liable to come under a spell that would make him behave in a feminine manner [...]

    24. Waterlily was originally written in the 1940’s but not published until 1988, after the author’s death. This novel about the life of a Dakota woman and her family in the mid-1800’s, just as European-Americans were beginning to encroach on the land where the Plains Indians lived, is based on the author’s ancestors. Ella Cara Deloria was born on the Yankton Sioux reservation and worked as a Sioux translator and ethnographic field researcher. She translated and wrote scholarly works about tr [...]

    25. This book has been sitting on my shelf for 25 years and I've finally gotten around the reading it. I'm glad I finally did. Ms Deloria comes from a prominent and politically active Lakota family. She studies and worked for years with the famous anthropologist Frank Boas at Columbia University. She was encouraged to take the research she was meticulously setting down and turn it into an everyday language in novel form to let the majority of Americans what life was like for the Plains tribes a life [...]

    26. Following the everyday life of Dakota Sioux tribe member, Waterlily (also the name of the protagonist), is a complex piece of historical fiction that chronicles culture, history and life in the Teton Lakota tribe. This book presents a different view of history and traditions, and students may be interested to learn about a new culture. Also, it presents new information that “you won’t learn in the classroom”, and will give students new depth of knowledge. As a teacher, helping students bro [...]

    27. How is it that I was an English minor and I've made it nearly to age 40 without ever having read an account of the life of any native individual? This work of historical fiction was reportedly painstakingly researched by the author to assure historical accuracy. It was interesting to read about how this woman lived her life in a native culture before the influence of the white man. If you don't know anything about Oceti Sakowin culture, I recommend researching a little about the kinship relation [...]

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