Non-Fiction Books:

Being Dakota

Tales and Traditions of the Sisseton and Wahpeton



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Being Dakota
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At the beginning of the twentieth century, a few members of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota community in northeastern South Dakota worked quietly to preserve the customs and stories of their ancestors in the face of federal government suppression and the opposition of organised religion. Oneroad and Skinner collected descriptions of everyday life, including material culture, tribal organisation, and ceremonies that marked the individual's passage from birth to death. Several of the folk tales relate the exploits of Iktomi, the trickster, in rare, early, unexpurgated versions. Others tell of adventures of such figures as the Child of Love, Star Born, and the Mysterious Turtle.

Author Biography

Amos E. Oneroad moved in two worlds. Educated in traditional Dakota ways, he also earned a divinity degree from Columbia University and become a Presbyterian minister. In 1914 he began working with Alanson B. Skinner, a student of anthropology whom he met in New York City. Oneroad wrote these stories; Skinner planned to edit and publish the work. But Skinner's untimely death in 1925 thwarted their plans, and the manuscript languished for seventy-five years in a California library. Laura L. Anderson, who teaches anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, has edited this unusual document, which offers a fresh look at what it means to be Dakota.
Release date NZ
June 1st, 2003
Edited by Amos E. Oneroad Edited by Laura L. Anderson
Country of Publication
United States
Minnesota Historical Society Press,U.S.
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