Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions Summary & Study Guide

Richard Erdoes
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Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions Summary & Study Guide Description

Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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Richard Erdoes, author of LAME DEER, SEEKER OF VISIONS, has accomplished the monumental task of providing a definitive depiction of the American Indian through the eyes of a Sioux medicine man. From an inordinate amount of time and reflection, he has transcribed hours of interviews, both written and taped, over a period of years of friendship with Lame Deer, and has successfully portrayed the amazingly rich history and heritage of Indian culture, of the religious beliefs, the rituals and ceremonies, the significant legends, the practice of medicine, the historical desecration of the Indian population, and the injustices and environmental destruction heaped upon a people and a land that is held in sacred reverence. Beginning with the life story of Lame Deer, the reader is lead through the coming of age of a young Indian boy, destined to become a revered medicine man, his sojourns into white society, his experiences with productive and unproductive pursuits, to his maturation into an elderly leader who wants little more than the dignity that his people and his earth deserve. Once the life story has been related, Lame Deer is then able to recall, in accurate and amazing detail, the Indian use of natural medicines, the traditional rituals and ceremonies that provide the Sioux nation with its identity and its sense of self, and the critical symbolism of every act performed. One emerges from this reading in complete awe of the spirituality of this people - its complete reverence for all nature, its respect for each animal and plant, its understanding that every living thing has a purpose within the great spiritual realm, and the existence of the Great Spirit within all things. The complete unification of the Indian with his spiritual beliefs, moreover, leads one to wonder whether the white man could not take a lesson here. Christians, Jews, and Muslims profess their beliefs, many of which compare closely with those of the Indian, and yet they do not seem to be able to practice these beliefs in their contemporary lives the way in which the Indian does.

The other key ingredient in this work is the historically accurate and shameful manner in which the Indian has been treated. While many other works with this theme exist, the injustices are thoroughly personalized when they are described through the eyes of a victim, as they are in this work. That Lame Deer can describe these injustices and lament their occurrence, moreover, and remain a peaceful man, not the angry, rebellious, revolutionary that many would be under similar circumstances is perhaps testament to his way of life. Perhaps Lame Deer knows what all would be wise to remember. This life, this short and fleeting existence on earth, should not be spent in the tasks of accumulating material wealth at all costs, in the desecration of others and the environment for earthly gain, and in the promotion of self at the expense of others. Human beings must return to their sense of oneness with the earth and all beings on it, because only in that lies salvation. Knowing this, and knowing that he has lived according to higher spiritual values, Lame Deer is perhaps at peace.

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This section contains 531 words
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Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.