To the Lakota Indians, virtues such as humility, sacrifice, and bravery are not just distant goals to aspire toward, they are daily expectations. "We believe we are measured by how well, or how little, we manifest virtue in our life's journey," writes Joseph Marshall, himself a Lakota. This collection of stories illustrates how generations are taught the Lakota Way of virtuous living through oral storytelling. Marshall recounts the tale of Deer Woman--a siren that lures hunters to her teepee then steals their souls. As the story goes, a grandmother warns her grandson not to be trapped by this beautiful soul-snatcher. When the grandson finally encounters Deer Woman, he is able to resist her seduction, not because he is afraid she'll steal his soul, but because he would never disobey his grandmother. For the Lakota, respect for elders is one of the most honored virtues. After each story, Marshall offers a gracefully rendered essay on the virtue it espouses and how it's applied to daily life. We are fortunate that Marshall translated these precious stories into written English. "They are our gift to the world," he explains. "They are not guarded secrets, they are markers on the road to life--the answers soaring across the open prairies of our lives on the winds of wisdom--helping us, perhaps helping you." --Gail Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
Humility, perseverance, bravery, sacrifice and love are among the 12 values of the Lakota tribe that are presented through traditional stories and personal commentary in Joseph M. Marshall III's The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living. The legend of White Lance and Red Willow Woman teaches the importance of love and duty, for instance, while Marshall's account of his father's battle with cancer stresses the merits of bravery. The lessons for life, which stress the proverbial attributes of common sense and moral vigor, may not be surprising, but the stories that frame them will be new and forceful to most.
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