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Hanta Yo Hardcover – January 9, 1979


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 834 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (January 9, 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385135548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385135542
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I first read this book in 1983 and loved it.
A Customer
The story is a wonderful insight into tribal culture at the time and painfully realistic.
Amazon Customer
I still remember that the first time I read this book (which is over 1000 pages long).
Ronda Swolley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By tralalala on January 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
Since none of the other reviews I've read have pointed this out, I thought I would because I think it's fascinating...

According to the foreword, Ms. Beebe Hill learned the Lakotah language and translated the entire book into Lakotah and back again to ensure the conceptual and linguistic integrity of readers' impressions of the Lakotah culture. To me, the initially awkward-sounding phrasing eventually became an important part of both the story and my understanding of the characters and their actions.

I was thoroughly impressed with this book. It's not history, but it is an impressive (and I believe honest) attempt to make accessible a culture about which many of us have admittedly shallow or misinformed understandings.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Gary Samer on August 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
There is no ambiguity with this book. It either touches you at the core of your Being or not. The Spirit-That-Moves-Through-All-Things weaves itself through every page and permeates your heart and soul. You are drawn into an experience of the most profound depths; a rendition of a way of life where a person's connection to the Earth and Creator permeated every aspect of life. Where Truth, Honesty & Generosity were held as the highest values. This was my third reading and I found myself slowing down to prolong the experience. When I read this, I am immersed totally in the experience. This is story-telling at its finest, in a way that is mostly lost to us today. The use of idiom and syntax is stunning in its effect. It is also an honest depiction without glamorizing the characters in a Rousseau "Noble Savage" way. There are an abundance of spiritual teachings in this text to totally transform the reader who has the pre-conditions to identify, understand then live them. "Hanta Yo"- "Clear The Way!" "In a proud manner I live!"
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Jay Stevens on February 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
Gotta love those `70s covers that make every novel look like trash. On the cover of my copy of "Hanta Yo," there's a handsome Native American man holding out a pipe, and over his shoulder stands an upright, proud, and cute woman. On the back cover, the book blurb highlights war and "sexual initiation rites," like it's some kind of North American "Clan of the Cave Bear."
Good news. "Hanta Yo" is not "Clan of the Cave Bears."
Instead, it's like some sort of Native American "Pilgrim's Progress": a book that defines a culture's values by embodying those values in a fictitious character by the name of Ahbleza, a Shirtwearer and symbolic embodiment of Lakota tradition and values. "Hanta Yo" is the story of his life and his band, the Mahto, and his nation's demise in a whiskey rampage at a whiteman's tradingpost.
The book feels like a very authentic depiction of Lakota life in the early 1800s. The level of detail is amazing, showing all aspects of life, from hunting, child-rearing, domestic chores, to correct social graces. But all told from the perspective of Lakota viewpoint, using Lakota expressions and judgement.
What seems most authentic about the book is that, while it obviously is trying to venerate the culture, it doesn't hide the negative aspects of Lakota life. Characters are violent, stubborn, vain, greedy, and full of hatred. Women are severely oppressed, sometimes passed from husband to husband, and have little or no say in tribal matters. Children and animals are roughly treated.
The final scenes of the beginning of the end of the traditional Lakota nation were especially wrenching.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. J MOSS on October 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Forget the carping reviews about purism or betrayal levelled at this fiction. In every respect, it is a marvellously full accounting of life,and a remarkable feat of storytelling by author, Bebe Hill. Unprecedently, I wrote & told her so, plus a few questions, after I finished it. Her correspondence was suitably humble and honest. This book was recommended to me in 1979 by a Lakotah man who claimed it the best literature available about his people. I can't verify that & have no need to. I carried it, reading it to myself and aloud to my fellow travellers as we drove the vast passage from Ohio to San Franciso, in the Fall of 79, imagining the scents inhaled by the book's characters. The book is invigorating, respectful, ethical, realistic and confronting in each of these matters.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dee Landeis on March 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have read this book several times and find something new each time. The critics of Hanta Yo that center in on the supposed "accepted homosexuality" are not in tune with the intent of the action. Two whole sentences about the forced copulation with the male captives - in a book with thousands and thousands of sentences - that is not the focus. The writer does not say it was accepted practice.
I find this book to be well written, well researched, and detailed. Yes, it is historical fiction - the author was not there in 1815 and there is no way every word spoken can be accounted for, but I look at this, not as the literal but the spiritual.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "jgarrison48" on January 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book was based on an actual "Lakota Historical Document", it might be a novel but various historical events can be verified. The review post on 10 July 1998 said we cannot accept it as history because the Lakota of today are not like the Lakota of 1815. That is like saying we cannot accept historical Rome because the Italians are not the same now as they were in ancient times. If you have not read this book do so, it will open your mind.
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