Accomplished narrator Jim Roberts gives listeners a sincere performance of this meditation on Native American life by Charles Ohiyesa Eastman. Published originally in 1911, The Soul of the Indian is Eastman's attempt to elucidate the religion and customs of the American Indian as it was before any influence from the white man. As Eastman states, most of the previous accounts of Native American life had been made during a transition period, and thus their beliefs had already begun to be diluted. Roberts takes command of this influential and valuable text and gives listeners insight into the real workings of Native American culture from the mind of one of its most decorated scholars.
Charles Alexander Eastman (1858-1939) was a mixed-blood Sioux. His maternal grandmother, daughter of Chief Cloudman of the Mdewankton Sioux, was married to a well-known Western artist, Captain Seth Eastman. In 1847 their daughter, Mary Nancy Eastman, became the wife of Chief Many Lightnings, a Wahpeton Sioux. Their fifth child, Charles Alexander Eastman, as a four-year-old, was given the name Ohiyesa (the Winner).
During the Sioux uprising of 1865, Ohiyesa became separated from his father - his mother had died soon after his birth - and fled from the reservation to Canada under the protection of his grandmother and uncle.
There, he was schooled in the Indian ways until the age of 15, when he was reunited with his father, who took him back to his homestead in present-day South Dakota.
Eastman went on the become one of the best known Indians of his time, receiving a bachelor of science degree from Dartmouth in 1887 and a medical degree from Boston University three years later.
©1911 University of Nebraska Press; (P)1994 Jimcin Recordings
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