The Dance House: Stories from Rosebud

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9781878610669: The Dance House: Stories from Rosebud

Joseph Marshall III was born on the Rosebud (Sicangu Lakota) Indian Reservation in what is now south-central South Dakota. Raised by his maternal grandparents, his first language is Lakota. A free-lance writer, Marshall has published numerous articles and two previous books with Red Crane. He has been a technical advisor and actor in television movies, including "Return to Lonesome Dove."

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Review:

Be prepared for some terrific storytelling. A member of the Sicunga Lakota Sioux, Joseph Marshall lends his poetic voice to stories and essays of courage and survival on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. His characterizations and his depiction of the natural world go far beyond stereotypes and popular movie concepts of Native American life.

For example, the love story of Oliver Snow Bear and Phidell First Charger rivals any in history. Separated from Oliver by a semantic misunderstanding that lands him in jail, Phidell waits 30 years for the man she chose to marry. Finally, someone realizes the error in translation and Oliver is released. Phidell tells Oliver that--for her--there has been no other path than the one that joins his. In "Cozy by the Fire," Jeremy Blue returns to thank the elderly couple who saved him from freezing by giving him hot stew and shelter. He finds that every trace of their house has disappeared. The boundary between reality and faith is blurred when he discovers that they died decades earlier! Yet Jeremy's faith reinforces a tradition of respect, when he visits their graves each year afterward with bowls of hot stew.

In stories such as these, Marshall dispels many of the media stereotypes of one-dimensional "braves" and "squaws." His insider's knowledge of tribal life introduces non-Native Americans to the nuances of bloodline and heritage, as well as the crucial task of keeping traditional languages alive. Marshall also calls into question the romantic misconceptions of Native American life rampant in current fiction: the "acceptable" Native American as civilized hero, mystic prophet, or sacrificial lamb. Marshall is on the path to harmony, offering knowledge and tolerance of our neighbors as the world's best defense.

About the Author:

Joseph Marshall III was born on the Rosebud (Sicangu Lakota) Indian Reservation in what is now south-central South Dakota. Marshall has published numerous articles and books, including On Behalf of the Wolf and the First Peoples and Winter of the Holy Iron.

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Marshall III, Joseph
Published by Red Crane Books (1998)
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Joseph Marshall III
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