Cover image for Singing for a spirit : a portrait of the Dakota Sioux
Singing for a spirit : a portrait of the Dakota Sioux
Deloria, Vine.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Fe, N.M. : Clear Light Publishers, 1999.
Physical Description:
223 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E99.Y25 D45 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The vision experiences of one man -- a Dakota chief and healer -- would profoundly affect the lives of four generations of the Deloria family. That man was the author's great-grandfather. In this book America's foremost Native American writer and scholar tells of the moving struggle of his family to preserve integrity, sacredness, and a sense of purpose in a time when their way of life was under assault by the juggernaut of U.S. westward expansion.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In 1918 Sarah Olden wrote The People of Tipi Sapa (the Dakotas) about the author's grandfather, Philip Joseph Deloria (Tipi Sapa) and his descriptions of traditional Sioux culture. Philip Deloria was then one of the nation's most prominent Sioux Episcopalian clergymen. Olden, a devout Episcopalian rather than a trained anthropologist, made mistakes, such as failing to identify traditional Sioux bands accurately. She also omitted most of the spiritual experiences that Philip Deloria recounted to her, rejecting any relationship between a vision quest undertaken by the author's great-grandfather and the decision by his descendants to convert to Christianity. Vine Deloria Jr.'s desire to correct the record and render it more usable to scholars became "irresistible." The first third of this book is a history of the Deloria family drawn from historical documentation and family oral tradition. The final two-thirds is the author's edited and annotated version of Olden's original work. Olden's material about traditional Sioux culture is familiar. The value of this book lies in the author's contributions, especially his inclusion of his family's traditional spiritual experiences. All levels. M. C. Mangusso; University of Alaska Fairbanks

Table of Contents

Part I A Vision and a Prophecy
Introductionp. 3
Saswep. 6
Tipi Sapap. 39
Part II The People of Tipi SapaSarah Olden
The Origin of the Indiansp. 93
The Circlep. 101
Bands -- Wicotip. 109
Husbands and Wivesp. 117
Sons and Daughtersp. 133
Gamesp. 147
Societiesp. 153
War Storiesp. 172
Communicating with Spiritsp. 179
The Sun Dance and Vision Questp. 195
A Bundle of Tobaccop. 205
Afterwordp. 211
Indexp. 227