Lakota Woman Essay

6854 words - 27 pages

Lakota Woman

Mary was born with the name Mary Brave Bird. She was a Sioux from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. She belonged to the "Burned Thigh," the Brule Tribe, the Sicangu. The Brules are part of the Seven Sacred Campfires, the seven tribes of the Western Sioux known collectively as the Lakota. The Brule rode horses and were great warriors. Between 1870 and 1880 all Sioux were driven into reservations, fenced in and forced to give up everything. Her family settled in on the reservation in a small place called He-Dog. Her grandpa was a He-Dog and told about the Wounded Knee massacre. Almost three hundred Sioux men, women, and children were killed by white soldiers. Mary was called a iyeska, a breed which the white kids called her. She had white peoples blood in her. Her face was very Indian, but her skin was light. She hated being "white" and loved the summer because she would tan and make her look more Indian. She had a husband from the Crow Dogs which were full-bloods. They were the Sioux of the Sioux. Her people had very strong family ties and everyone cared for everyone. Still even though the white man has ruined their close family ties they have many traditions which keep the intermediate family closely tied together. The whites however completely destroyed the tiyospaye, which is the extended family like the grandparents, uncles and aunts, in-laws and cousins. The government tore the tiyospaye apart and forced the Sioux into the kind of relationship now called the nuclear family. Those who refused to be ruined by the government were pushed back in the country and into isolation and starvation. Her father, Bill Moore, was only part Indian and mostly white. He left almost immediately after Mary was born because he was tired of taking care of babies. When Mary turned 9 or 10 her mother remarried. Mary hated her stepfather, he drank a lot and got Mary into drinking when she was only ten years old. She hated her stepfather so much that she was barely home and always got in arguments with her mother, yelling at her for marrying such a bad man. Mary and her mother did not get along after her mom remarried so Mary drank and began to live like a hobo. There was nothing for the men to do back than besides drink so she couldn't really blame her mother for picking a man like that because that is how they all were. They just drank and drove around wasted. Mary was one of six kids, sister Kathie, brother Robert, sister Barbara (who she got along the best with), sister Sandra and then an adopted little brother. The adopted brother was very spoiled. Mary's mother had to find a job to help support the kids and when she was gone at work nobody was left to take care of them so their grandparents took care of them. Her grandma was born Louise Flood and her grandpa was Brave Bird. Her grandpa was killed when the horses which were pulling his wagon were startled by a lighting storm. The horses freaked out and caused the wagon to tip. Brave Bird...

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