Waterlily

Ella Cara Deloria, Author, Raymond J. Demallie, Afterword by University of Nebraska Press $30 (244p) ISBN 978-0-8032-4739-0
Deloria was a Sioux Indian and an ethnologist who worked with anthropologist Franz Boas. Written in the early 1940s and now published for the first time, this culturally detailed novel of 19th century Sioux life focuses on a young girl named Waterlily. When her mother Blue Bird is deserted by her husband, she and her daughter are welcomed by relatives at their tiyospaye (encampment of related households) on the western plains. Deloria portrays Waterlily's maturation, daily tribal life and the crucial ""kinship rules.'' As the author wrote elsewhere, the Sioux concept of kinship meant ``achieving civility, good manners, and a sense of responsibility toward every individual dealt with.'' Waterlily learns she must show altruism and generosity, be courteous, demure and truthful, and highly value each family member. While this novel's plot is slight, Deloria clearly accomplished what was probably her true goalpresenting an authoritative, expertly researched account of Sioux beliefs, social conventions and ceremonies. As such, it is an absorbing document. Literary Guild alternate. (April)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1988
Release date: 02/01/1988
Paperback - 251 pages - 978-0-8032-1904-5
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-4894-5
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-8032-6579-0
Open Ebook - 393 pages - 978-0-8032-6769-5
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