Skip to content

American Indian Stories

in stock, ready to be shipped
Original price $5.99 - Original price $5.99
Original price $5.99
$9.99 - $9.99
Current price $9.99

American Indian Stories (1921) is a collection of stories and essays from Yankton Dakota writer Zitk la-S . Published while Zitk la-S was at the height of her career as an artist and activist, American Indian Stories collects the author's personal experiences, the legends and stories passed down through Sioux oral tradition, and her own reflections on the mistreatment of American Indians nationwide.

In "My Mother," Zitk la-S remembers the walk she would take with her mother to the river, where they would gather water to use in their wigwam. This simple chore becomes a cherished tradition between the two, allowing Zitk la-S 's mother to educate her on the circumstances that led their people to the reservation, depriving them of land and life itself. "The Legends" traces Zitk la-S 's childhood experience of learning from the oral tradition passed down from the Dakota elders. In "The Coffee Making," she remembers the first time she made coffee. While her mother has gone out for the day, an elder pays a visit to their wigwam. Remembering that her mother usually makes coffee for visitors, Zitk la-S attempts to play hostess to her visitor, who humors her and takes the time to share stories about his life and their people. American Indian Stories is a charming and politically conscious collection of stories from one of the leading American Indian writers of her generation, a committed activist and true voice for change who saw through her own eyes the lives and experiences of countless others.

With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Zitk la-S 's American Indian Stories is a classic of American Indian literature reimagined for modern readers.

ISBN-13: 9781513271897

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Mint Editions

Publication Date: 02-23-2021

Pages: 84

Product Dimensions: 4.90h x 7.80w x 0.20d

Series: Mint Editions (Native Stories, Indigenous Voices)

Zitkala-Sa: -

Zitkála-Sá (1876-1938) was a Yankton Dakota writer, translator, musician, teacher, and activist. Born on the Yankton Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Zitkála-Sá--also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin--was raised by her mother following their abandonment by her German American father. Zitkála-Sá grew up on the reservation, but was taken by missionaries at the age of eight to the White's Indiana Manual Labor Institute, a Quaker school in Wabash, Indiana. There, Zitkála-Sá was forced to suppress her heritage by cutting her hair and praying as a Quaker, but she also took advantage of the opportunity to learn reading and writing, as well as to play violin. She briefly returned to the reservation in 1887 before going back to Indiana to finish her education, after which she studied at Earlham College and played violin at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. After working from 1899 to 1901 as a music teacher at the notoriously abusive Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, Zitkála-Sá began to speak out against the program. In 1901, she wrote an article for Harper's Monthly chronicling a young boy's experience as a student at the school, where he felt forced to sacrifice his identity in order to assimilate. That same year, Zitkála-Sá began collecting stories for Old Indian Legends, which recorded traditional stories she learned in her youth and from members of various tribes. Over the next several decades, she wrote several story collections, countless articles for Harper's Monthly and the Atlantic Monthly, and the libretto and songs for The Sun Dance Opera (1913). She also worked as an advocate and activist for the rights of women and American Indians, founding the National Council of American Indians with her husband and running grassroots policy and voter-registration campaigns around the country. She is remembered not only for her contributions to American Indian culture as a writer and translator, but for her tireless advocacy for resistance and reform that led to better education, healthcare, and legal standing for American Indians nationwide.