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The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History    by Joseph M. Marshall order for
Journey of Crazy Horse
by Joseph M. Marshall
Order:  USA  Can
Viking, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

In The Journey of Crazy Horse, Joseph Marshall weaves a sensitive account from the birth of Light Hair (Jiji), until the time that his father gave him his adult name. Like his father and grandfather before him, Jiji became known as Crazy Horse. After bestowing the name on his son, the father took the humble name of Worm. Most Euro-Americans know little about Crazy Horse, aside from a vague awareness of his involvement in the Battle of Little Bighorn and Custer's Last Stand.

Marshall chronicles various groups of Lakota, 'the Long Knives', treaty promises made and broken, and politics involving the 'great father' in the east. The People comprised three groups: the Dakota, the Nakota, and the Lakota. Jiji's mother was Rattling Blanket Woman, a Mniconju Lakota, and his father was a healer from the Oglala Lakota. Incorporating storytelling from generations of elders, Marshall tells us about the warrior named Crazy Horse. He speaks of the white man's travels West, first as a trickle and then in a large flow of wagon wheels, and how this affected Native Americans - their land, their people, their leaders, and in pushing the tatanka (bison) west. Marshall says that 'The whites seemed to want to say where the land ended and where it began by drawing a picture on a parched hide ... but who could find that line on the earth?' By the 1950s, he tells us the Lakota 'were scattered across the state of south Dakota on eight reservations ... the consequences of a series of 'agreements' that whittled our traditional territory'.

Read The Journey of Crazy Horse for a history of the Lakota, and in particular for the impressive tale of a man who became a legendary warrior - as told by a storyteller of his people, building on a long oral tradition.

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