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Witness: A Hunkpapha Historian's Strong-Heart Song of the Lakotas Hardcover – November 1, 2013
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“Josephine Waggoner’s writings offer a unique perspective on the Lakota. Witness will become a widely referenced primary source. Emily Levine has meticulously examined all known collections of Waggoner’s manuscripts, sometimes comparing handwritten drafts with multiple typed copies to preserve information in full. Levine’s extensive notes are well chosen and informative. Witness will interest both specialist and popular audiences.”—Raymond J. DeMallie, Chancellors’ Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies at Indiana University
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But note, this is not dry information. The text takes you into the world of the Hunkpapa Lakotas and their allies, foes and friends. It gives a beautiful insight into the lives of a proud and strong people. In addition to the historical narration, there are sixty fascinating biographies of Lakota and Dakota leaders, and a very nice selection of Lakota Winter Counts. Emily Levine did a tremendous job of editing and annotating the manuscript, taking care to keep the original text intact while ensuring readability and providing insights where the original text may have been lacking in detail. Her well-researched notes and the photos are reason enough to buy this book.
The book is huge, more than 800 pages thick, and could probably have been sold in two volumes. Yet any discomfort you may have from its weight is offset entirely when you start reading it. I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Plains Indians and the western frontier, you won't regret it.
Emily Levine did an incredible job over the past decades researching and editing Josephine McCarthy Waggoner's manuscripts and other historical resources to ensure that this book and With My Own Eyes: A Lakota Woman Tells Her People's History became published.
Emily achieved her mission, "...seventy years after her death, we can belatedly give Josephine McCarthy Waggoner the respect that she is due and honor her with this edition of her life's work." Our family is eternally grateful for Emily's endeavors!