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When Blue Bird and her grandmother leave their family's camp to gather beans for the long, threatening winter, they inadvertently avoid the horrible fate that befalls the rest of the family. Luckily, the two women are adopted by a nearby Dakota community and are eventually integrated into their kinship circles. Ella Cara Deloria's tale follows Blue Bird and her daughter, Waterlily, through the intricate kinship practices that created unity among her people.Waterlilypublished after Deloria's death and generally viewed as the masterpiece of her career, offers a captivating glimpse into the daily life of the nineteenth-century Sioux. This new Bison Books edition features an introduction by Susan Gardner and an index.
Ella Cara Deloria (1889–1971) was born on the Yankton reservation in South Dakota and grew up in a prominent family on the Standing Rock reservation during a disruptive time in her tribe’s history. She studied at Columbia University with Franz Boas and became an ethnologist. She is the author of Dakota Texts and Speaking of Indians, both available in Bison Books editions, Dakota Grammar, and many other works. Susan Gardner is an associate professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and is the author of several articles and a forthcoming biography on Ella Deloria.