Read Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions by John (Fire) Lame Deer Richard Erdoes Online


Lame Deer Storyteller, rebel, medicine man, Lame Deer was born almost a century ago on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. A full-blooded Sioux, he was many things in the white man's world -- rodeo clown, painter, prisioner. But, above all, he was a holy man of the Lakota tribe. Seeker of Vision The story he tells is one of harsh youth and reckless manhood, shotgLame Deer Storyteller, rebel, medicine man, Lame Deer was born almost a century ago on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. A full-blooded Sioux, he was many things in the white man's world -- rodeo clown, painter, prisioner. But, above all, he was a holy man of the Lakota tribe. Seeker of Vision The story he tells is one of harsh youth and reckless manhood, shotgun marriage and divorce, history and folklore as rich today as ever -- and of his fierce struggle to keep pride alive, though living as a stranger in his own ancestral land....

Title : Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions
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ISBN : 9780671888022
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions Reviews

  • Robyn
    2019-05-18 09:00

    I've read a lot of mystically minded, "authentic" native american stories, and while I have enjoyed a lot of them, this one really hit me where it counts. There's humor and wisdom and pain in this, but more interesting is what it doesn't have. Unlike many spiritually inclined texts, I don't get a feeling of... well... Smugness from Lame Deer. So many of the new age mystical texts I've read have this feeling, like "Well, this is just how the universe works, and I the author, must educate you poor souls about it. Now, you're not going to like hearing this, but this is the way things are, and if you don't believe me, then it's just because your puny unenlightened mind can't handle it. If you doubt me it's because you're too stupid to see a good thing..." etc etc. Then I picture the author sitting in front of the TV at home, eating a jar of marshmallow fluff and scoffing at all the unenlightened souls, and feeling so freaking proud of saving them. Maybe that's a bit cynical of me. Ah, well. The point is, I have no doubt that Lamedeer walks the walk. Something about the way this book is written, it just oozes authenticity. He tells us every thing about his life, the times he was victimized as well as the times he was wrong. He doesn't glorify all of his own actions, nor does he apologize for them. This has always felt real to me, and manages to be spiritual without being new-agey and fake feeling. If you're having any kind of spiritual uncertainty or crisis, this is probably one of the best things anyone could suggest to you. Read it.

  • Erin
    2019-05-09 16:57

    To me, this summarizes Lame Deer's narrative:"You've seen me drunk and broke. You've heard me curse or tell a dirty joke. You know I'm not better and wiser than other men. But I've been up on the hilltop, got my vision and power; the rest is just trimmings."I was raised Catholic, and I didn't realize how much I still looked back on that upbringing until reading this book and thinking "THIS is what a priest should be like." Any one who hasn't walked the dark side, who hasn't questioned their existence, doesn't deserve to educate people on spiritual matters.But John Lame Deer is more than a simple seer. He explains the narrative of his people and their history with the white man in eloquent but simple language. His lack of drama makes the words even more tragic in telling, and I dare anyone not to be moved by the plight of the Indians, both in the past and now. He clearly recognizes the challenges ahead of his people - and the white man's. But he is positive and upbeat and funny throughout the book, even while delivering some deep messages about life and spirituality."Insight does not come cheaply, and we want no angel or saint to gain it for us and give it to us secondhand." Amen.

  • Matt
    2019-04-23 10:21

    I can not recommend this book highly enough. As someone from a predominantly (and proudly) american indian family it helped me come to terms with a lot of the things I've always felt in my life that have led to me making somewhat self-defeating choices. I don't want to make it sound like this is some sort of self-help bullshit. Becuase it's not. It's an un-apologetic autobiography of a man (and his people) who is displaced from his culture and forced to adopt a new (more destructive, angry and ultimately doomed) one by force. I'm just saying it helped me realize that the way I feel--have always felt--is often completely at odds to the civilization I'm living in and that I'm not a weirdo for feeling this way. Even if you ignore all of the information pertaining to that, it's still a really good, informative, and often dryly humorous look at growing up indian in a white world.

  • Mark
    2019-04-21 12:21

    I was skeptical at first with this book. I read a lot of Native American legend and trickster tales, histories and so forth. I had always lumped this one in with the " Mystical Indian" books that surround the gems I had come to find over the years. This became one of those gems. It was refreshing to see it was not some hokum over a shaman, but a book about a man growing up in the early 20th century and finding his voice among many, as well as a voice in his society. He reminds me of how my grandfather was, whihc made me appreciate the book that much more. A person that I am not sure exists anymore today...but one that is sorely missed.

    2019-04-29 09:56

    Es war Liebe auf den ersten Blick als ich 2011 das erste Mal den Wilden Westen erblickte. Diese unendliche Weite. Offenes Land, wie man es nirgendwo in Europa findet. Echte Wildnis mit Bären, Kojoten, Klapperschlangen und Bisons. Ein grenzenloser Himmel und freie Sicht auf den Horizont. Kein Haus und keine Landwirtschaft. Es war eine spirituelle Erfahrung und unbewusst auch die Geburtsstunde von awesomatik. Denn seit meinem Besuch im Westen, versuche ich auf allen meinen Reisen dieses Gefühl der grenzenloser Freiheit und Einheit mit der Natur zu reproduzieren. Und weil ich nicht konstant durch die Gegend reisen kann, beschäftige ich mich mal bloggend, mal lesend mit der Materie. So stieß ich auf das Buch des Lakota Medizinmanns Lame Deer. Der Künstler Richard Erdoes staunte nicht schlecht als eines Tages der Medizinmann Lame Deer in der Tür seines New Yorker Apartments stand. In seiner Hand hielt er einen Karton mit allen seinen Habseligkeiten.“Ich mochte dich. Ich denke ich bleibe eine Weile” sagte er ihm.Die beiden hatten sich Monate zuvor bei dem Friedensmarsch von Martin Luther King Jr. kennengelernt. Nun sollte Erdoes Lame Deers Lebensgeschichte zu Papier bringen. Und obgleich Erdoes protestierte, er habe noch nie ein Buch geschrieben insistierte Lame Deer so lange bis er schließlich einwilligte.Das Buch startet mit dem ungewöhnlichen Leben von Lame Deer. Auf seiner turbulenten Suche nach Visionen war er u.a. Outlaw, Polizist und Rodeo Clown bevor er schließlich zum respektierten Medizinmann wurde.Er führt den Leser ein in die Traditionen der Lakota, die stets im perfekten Gleichgewicht mit der Natur lebten, bis die Weißen ihnen ihre Lebensgrundlage raubten, sie in Reservate sperrten und ihre heiligen Stätten zerstörten und schändeten. Er beschreibt, wie sein Volk bis heute unter diesem Trauma leidet. Dass der westliche Lebensstil nicht mit dem Leben seiner Vorfahren vereinbar ist und deswegen vielen Stammesangehörigen der Lebenssinn fehlt.Er klagt zu Recht an, verliert sich aber nicht in Bitterkeit sondern streut immer wieder lustige Anekdoten ein und versucht allen Menschen einen Weg aus dem dunklen Tal der Selbstzerstörung zu weisen. Ein weiterer Bestandteil des Buches ist die Weitergabe jahrhunderte alter Traditionen. Von der Suche nach Visionen, vom Schwitzbad, von der Yuwipi Heilungszeremonie bis hin zum Sonnentanz. Lame Deer erläutert die Bedeutung von Symbolen und Verzierungen, erzählt alte indianische Sagen und stellt Heilkräuter und traditionelle Medizin vor.Auch alltägliche Dinge wie Privatsphäre, Sex, Verhütung und der Umgang mit geistig verwirrten Stammesmitgliedern wird erläutert. Fazit – Die Symbole des Lebens erkennenLame Deer – Seekers of Visions ist mehr als nur die Biographie eines Medizinmanns. Es ist ein Vermächtnis. Die Weitergabe jahrhunderte alter Traditionen. Ethnographische Geschichte, philosophischer Essay und spiritueller Leitfaden, vorgetragen von einem humorvollen Geschichtenerzähler.Wer sich für indianische Kultur, Geschichte und Tradition interessiert wird an diesem Buch nicht vorbei kommen. Mitankuye oyasin – All my relatives…Wertung 4/5Alle awesomatik Rezensionen auf einen Blick: KuriosumWie schlecht es aktuell um die Indianer in den USA steht, machen diese Fakten aus der Pine Ridge Reservation (aus der Lame Deer stammte) deutlich:– Arbeitslosenquote von 80-90%– Alkoholismusrate von 80%– Jugendsuizidrate viermal so hoch wie außerhalb des Reservats– Die Lebenserwartung ist die zweitniedrigste in der gesamten westlichen Hemisphäre. Nur Haiti liegt darunter.

  • Nancy Bevilaqua
    2019-05-20 14:13

    I have a Lakota friend (he's full-blooded, although he likes to say that he's 5/4 Lakota) who lives just off one of the reservations in South Dakota (housing on the reservations is apparently in short supply these days). Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions would probably send him off the deep end (I'm not sure if he's read it or not). He is adamantly against the "romanticization" of his people and their culture, particularly (and he is certainly not alone in this among other Lakota with whom I've spoken) when it's presented through a "wasicu" (a not particularly flattering term for white guys) lens. He's also very concerned that the Lakota language, as it was spoken before the arrival of the Europeans, is becoming anglicized by young Lakota and "wannabes" (an even less flattering term). (One example of the latter in the book is someone's use of the phrase "hinhanni waste"--very literally "good morning". It's not, he says, a phrase that would ever be used in "real" Lakota.) Quite understandably, he and others are very cagey about revealing details of native traditions and spiritual world-view to wasicu, no matter how well-meaning they may be.So it was to some extent with my friend's slant on the subject influencing me that I read Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions. However, the book is beautifully written (although I couldn't help but think that much of Lame Deer's words were paraphrased by Richard Erdoes, who "co-wrote" the book, and that some liberties may have been taken). And the world-view/spiritual vision that it presents--regardless of whether it is entirely or authentically Lakota and not the product of some of that romanticization, and inadvertent though it may be--is very appealing to me. Very often I would read passages and say, "YES!" I am of the opinion these days that the source of certain ways of perceiving and being in the world is very often irrelevant, as long as the outcome is positive and compassionate, although mine may be the minority opinion.John (Fire) Lame Deer is a very appealing character, particularly as he relates his bad-ass younger days. He's funny and irreverent and insightful, and happy to describe what he sees as his own shortcomings. He almost never comes off as a one-dimensional cliche of a "noble Indian". Probably because of my Lakota friends' influences, I was fully prepared to dismiss Richard Erdoes as a "wannabe wasicu", yet when I came to his epilogue at the end of the book I found him likable, credible, and interesting on his own terms as well. I don't know if Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions is entirely true to Lakota culture as it is practiced by the Lakota themselves, but I do believe that Erdoes has made a sincere, good-faith effort to transmit what he learned from his Indian friends as faithfully as a white guy could manage.

  • Nick
    2019-04-21 17:03

    I think I have wound up reading this book 6 times. Lame Deer is one of the few people whose social, economic and political criticisms are not purely ideologically or politically driven. This is one of the few books that will force you to bend your mind in a new way. No, this is not a complex Continental philosophy tract. This is something better. Lame Deer makes no pretense to be an intellectual. This book is about how a dying Lakota shaman sees the world. You can accept or reject Lame Deer's social critique on the merits of his education, but you can't reject them on the basis of ideology or interest.

  • Ainetheon
    2019-05-04 13:07

    As I read this book I felt I was being taken along a journey by an old Indian. Not the grumpy old Indian, One Feather, whom I met on my only successful meditation. For a long time I have wondered about the connectedness I feel inside with the Native American Indian. I've never had the desire to visit America (although I am slowly changing my mind - I guess that's allowed). Strange that I have never wanted to see the country a (real live self-confessed) witch on the Isle of Man told me that had some connection for me. What she said was that there was someone over there who will be important to me or will have some strong meaning in my life. I can't remember exactly the words she used (I was 18 at the time - long time ago!). However that does not belong to this entry.So here, in Lame Deer's book, we have an old Indian who is willing to take the reader on a journey of what it was like to be an Indian many years ago and how the values and skills known to this Native American race have been eroded through oppression and discrimination. This is not a book about self-pity or loathing or anger. In fact one gets the sense of a generous spirit who is trying to talk to and counsel humankind in the benefits of caring for the Earth that gives us life and sustenance. Lame Deer takes us on a journey that gives us glimpses of himself as he goes through his life. He makes no claims to being from a greater race or creed than anyone else but one gets the sense that spiritually he is far more advanced than the White Man who came to convert and 'civilise' the Red Man.There is also humour throughout the book, Lame Deer's own individual sense of humour that is both generous and accommodating of difference. I have marked several passages in this book to go back to. I was going to write a few of them in here but I think the best thing I can do is to direct you to the book itself. It's worth reading, even if only to make friends with an old Indian.

  • Jason
    2019-05-01 10:17

    Lame Deer was many things in his life. He was an outlaw, lawman, rodeo clown, and Indian medicine man. At a later point in his life Lame Deer came to meet an artist living in NY named Richard Erdoes. The men decided to collaborate together to write a book about the life of Lame Deer. Lame Deer himself was a Sioux medicine man trained in the ways of the old ones. This book is gripping and humorous. The first part recounts many funny personal stories about Lame Deer's life and his run-ins with the law, his personal feelings about the present state of the US, and his own thoughts about what it means to be an Indian. The latter part of the book focuses on ceremonies like the sundance, sweatlodge gatherings and also discussion about the sacred pipe. Lame Deer explains how important symbolism is to the Indian and also explains a good deal of Indian mythology in the latter part of the book which helps the average reader get inside the minds of these people and their beliefs. Throughout this book the reader will come to develop an emotional affinity with Lame Deer. You find yourself feeling how he does about pollution, broken promises, and disregard for sacred beliefs. It's very compelling. Sadly, we are also told much about how Indians faired badly at the hands of white guns, diseases and white "instant gratification" attitudes. I don't think the book was perfect because Erdoes was not an actual writer at the time although he did a decent job putting the book in literary form. I suppose he should at least be lauded for helping us to interpret Indian mysteries. My only major gripe about this book was that it wasn't longer.

  • Richard Reese
    2019-04-23 15:20

    Tahca Ushte (Lame Deer) was a Lakota medicine man from a land now known as South Dakota (“Sioux” is a white name that insults the Lakota). His government-issued name was John Fire. He was born some time between 1895 and 1903, and died in 1976. His parents were of the last generation to be born wild and free. Two of his grandfathers had been at the battle of Little Big Horn, Custer’s last stand, and one of them survived the massacre at Wounded Knee.Lame Deer’s early years were spent in a remote location, where they had no contact with the outside world. He never saw a white man until he was five. At 14, he was taken away to a boarding school, where he was prohibited from speaking his language or singing his songs. The class work never went beyond the level of third grade, so Lame Deer spent six years in the third grade. He eventually gained renown for being a rebellious troublemaker. When he was 16, he went on a vision quest, and discovered that he was to become a medicine man.Sons destined to become medicine men were often removed from school by their families, because schooling was harmful to the growth of someone walking a spiritual path. One father drove away truancy officers with a shotgun. For medicine men, the skills of reading and writing had absolutely no value.When Lame Deer was 17, his mother died, and the family fell apart. The white world was closing in, making it hard for his father to survive as a rancher. He gave his children some livestock and wished them good luck. By that time, the buffalo were dead, their land was gone, many lived on reservations, and the good old days for the Lakota were behind them. Lame Deer straddled two worlds, the sacred path of Lakota tradition, and the pure madness of the “frog-skinners” — people who were driven by an insatiable hunger for green frog-skins (dollar bills). The frog-skinners were bred to be consumers, not human beings, so they were not enjoyable company.Lame Deer spent maybe 20 years wandering. He made money as a rodeo rider, clown, square dance caller, potato picker, shepherd, and so on. He always avoided work in factories or offices, “because any human being is too good for that kind of no-life, even white people.” He enjoyed many women, did more than a little drinking, stole a few cars, and shunned the conventional civilized life.Between jobs he would return to his reservation and spend time with the elders. During World War II, just before Normandy, he was thrown out of the Army when they discovered that he was 39, too old. Soon after, he abandoned the frog-skin world and became a full time Indian, walking on the sacred path of a medicine man.For the Lakota, the Black Hills were the most sacred place in their world. To retain possession of them, they surrendered much of what became Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. The treaty declared that the Black Hills would remain Indian territory “for as long as the sun shined.” Soon after, whites discovered gold in the Black Hills, and flooded into the holy lands with drills, dynamite, whiskey, and prostitutes. The Lakota were horrified by the behavior of these civilized Christians. The frog-skinners exterminated the buffalo, and replaced them with imported livestock. Buffalo were beings of great power and intelligence. They even had a sense of humor. Lame Deer said that if buffalo were used in bullfighting, the cocky matadors would promptly be trampled and gored into extinction. Cattle were dullards that had the power bred out of them. Sheep and goats would stand calmly while you cut their throats. To provide additional vegetation for the dim-witted livestock, the prairie dogs had to go. Ranchers launched an intensive poisoning campaign that also killed more than a few children and pets. With the prairie dogs gone, there was far less prey for the wolves, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, badgers, hawks, and eagles. A diverse, thriving prairie ecosystem was replaced with monocultures of destructive sub-intelligent exotic species. Sheep were amazingly frail. They often fell over, with their feet in the air, and couldn’t get back up again. If the shepherd didn’t rescue them, they would bloat up and die. Lambs often had to be hand-raised because their mothers didn’t recognize them or feed them. “There was great power in a wolf, even in a coyote. You have made him into a freak — a toy poodle, a Pekingese, a lap dog. … You have not only altered, declawed, and malformed your winged and four-legged cousins; you have done it to yourselves. … You live in prisons which you have built for yourselves, calling them homes, offices, factories.”In the 1880s, the Indians of the west were in despair, and the Ghost Dance movement was spreading from tribe to tribe. It was a grand magic act intended to bring a new world into existence via sacred song and dance. The dead would come back to life, the buffalo herds would return, the whites would get sent back home, and the civilized world would be rolled up like a dirty old carpet — the cities, mines, farms, and factories. This would reveal a healthy unspoiled land, with many teepees and animals, as it once had been.Dancers were not allowed to possess things from the white world: liquor, guns, knives, kettles, or metal ornaments. They would dance for four days. Whites feared an armed uprising, so they attacked the dancers. Hundreds of unarmed Indians were murdered at the Wounded Knee massacre. The magic dancing did not succeed, but today many can see that a great healing is badly needed. Obviously, the devastating madness cannot continue forever. Lame Deer was clear: “The machine will stop.” He said that one day, before the end of the century, a young man would come who would know how to turn it off. “It won’t be bad, doing without many things you are now used to, things taken out of the earth and wasted foolishly.” We will have to learn how to live more simply, and this will be good for one and all. Lame Deer asked Richard Erdoes to help write his story, to pass along important information. He included several chapters describing the sacred culture of the Lakota. He wanted hold up a mirror for us, to give us a different perspective, to feed a sane voice into our lost and confused world. “We must try to save the white man from himself. This can be done if only all of us, Indians and non-Indians alike, can once again see ourselves as part of this earth.”

  • Jake The
    2019-05-18 15:20

    Tahce Ushte is the main character in this story. He is a full-blooded Sioux indian. He is 72 years old. His name means John Lame Deer in indian. He has many useful attributes. This is a story about a man that wanted to represent native americans through speech and writing. He is a very diverse man. Has many talents and the main one he wanted to pursue was writing. Especially about his people. Throughout his life he met a man and they together wrote a book about Lame deers life story. It is a great story about a man pursuiung his dreams and going through with it.

  • David McDannald
    2019-04-28 09:55

    A classic. Lame Deer had a foot in the old world, and his insights into the modern world are humorous and important. The book can feel somewhat formless at times, but the messages within are worth the effort of reading. If you're open to it, Lame Deer's voice can change you.

  • Kichi
    2019-05-21 15:19

    Wonderful. I can't think of a more fitting description.

  • Addicted to Books
    2019-05-14 14:21

    I had to return my copy back to my friend. Need to purchase a copysoon. I loved it!

  • Judi
    2019-05-07 17:08

    Read this book in May of 2014. It was fantastic!

  • Bob Newman
    2019-04-27 12:21

    The life and philosophy of a wise manI once lived on the Yakima Reservation for a couple weeks, back in 1964. This constituted my entire experience with Native Americans until thirty years later I met a few Navajo and Pueblo people on a trip to the Southwest. So even though I worked as an anthropologist for many years, I had absolutely zip to do with Native Americans. I was aware that there is a huge amount of junk written and shown in movies about them; that they have been either lionized or demonized out of all proportion in America and in the world beyond. I always felt that "ethnic cleansing" was not invented in the Balkans. Only when such writers as Silko, Momaday, Alexie, and Erdrich emerged did I discover the other world of the Indian people, only the film "Smoke Signals" rang true to me. So, I wasn't sure, when I picked up LAME DEER: SEEKER OF VISIONS, co-authored by John (Fire) Lame Deer and Richard Erdoes, whether I was getting some kind of phony, "awesome-dude !" worshipful portrait of a Lakota "medicine man" or not.Not to keep you waiting any longer---this is a wonderful book on several levels. First, it contains the life story of Lame Deer, a Lakota man born in South Dakota in 1903 at the absolute nadir of Lakota history. It tells how he grew up, surviving relentless hostility by local whites, went through many ways of life, had numerous escapades, and finally turned towards the traditional wisdom of his people, becoming a wise elder, knowledgeable in many aspects of life. He has that wry Indian humor, so different a personality to what was always presented by Hollywood. Nobody can read this book and not be impressed by this man. The second level of this book is that it presents Lakota culture from the point of view of a Lakota steeped in it over many decades, not the interpretation of it by an outside scholar. You will find chapters on the sacred sweat bath, on the holy pipes of red stone, on the meaningful symbols, on the yuwipi ceremony, the sun dance, the peyote church which came from elsewhere, the heyoka (sacred clowns) and more. Lame Deer wanted to tell the world about Lakota ways and get this all written down to preserve it for the generations to come of his own people. On a third level, this book reflects a very attractive cooperation between two people from backgrounds that could not have been more different: a Lakota man from the prairies of South Dakota and a Vienna-born refugee from Nazism, an Austro-Hungarian in the true sense of that multi-cultural empire. Richard Erdoes only introduces himself at the end; Lame Deer talks throughout the whole book.The editing and proofreading could have been tighter in my 1972 edition-a lot of passages appear twice or more, for example-and that's why I gave this book four stars, but it is a five star book for students who want to read about the inside view of the world of another culture, it is a five star book for someone particularly interested in knowing Lakota culture and thought, and for anyone who still thinks that Indians were or are "primitive" people. This is a book that speaks to the common humanity of all of us under the four corners of the sky.

  • Tom Schulte
    2019-05-07 09:58

    This works great as a forthcoming autobiography of a wasted youth in alcohol, joy-riding, and skirt-chasing to in adulthood learn the value of lessons adults had tried to impart. However, this is not a coming-of-age tale from one man to another, but a "medicine man" to another culture: Native American spirituality is real, cohesive, and valuable; respect it and at least don't destroy it. Also, don't destroy the Black Hills sacred ground with more mountain-marring statues, even of Crazy Horse. (Lame Deer was an active participant in one of the Mt. Rushmore occupations decrying treaties broken as late as the 1940s.)Lame Deer tells the story to his friend and admirer (definitely read his epilogue), and this reads like a transcript; very natural and conversational. Some others pop in to attest, including another medicine man from a line of medicine men: Peter Catches. (See of my favorite lines from a movie is "It's a sad and beautiful word" from Down by Law. How does one existence amid such hopeless contradiction. I like the reaction (and also a movie quote), "Accept the mystery! This seems aligned with what I feel is Lame Deer's key message summed up in this line of the book, "Man cannot live without mystery. He has a great need of it."Along the way, Lame Deer reveals the details of many ceremonial rites: inside the sweat lodge, pulling an embedded eagle claw from the flesh, the yuwipi binding ceremony, cross-tribal peyote sacrament, and more.Lame Deer espouses some things I find hard to "swallow" from the succulence of puppy flesh to magic like controlling the weather. But, what do I know? As Lame Deer observes, "The elk is an athlete. In spite of his big antlers he can run through a dense forest no matter how close the trees are standing together. You don’t quite know how he does it. He lives with the trees, is himself formed like a tree; his antlers are like branches."Once, while walking a trail on Isle Royale with my nose in a Nietzche compendium I stumbled on a large moose an arm's length away. I was afraid of being crushed in the dense forest by its sudden moves, but it ran through the dense forest no matter how close the trees were standing together. I don’t quite know know he did it.

  • Thomas Cannon
    2019-05-16 09:20

    Lame Deer Seeker of VisionsI highly recommend this book describing the life of John Lame Deer if you are interested in the history of Native Americans or their view of The United States.These are the memoirs of Lame Deer that he worked on with Richard Erdoes. Lame Deer describes how Native Americans dealt with whites taking their land through lies and massacres. He also describes trying to keep his culture alive.We, the reader, are taken to Native American ceremonies. We are shown what happens and why. Lame Deer also explains how they have changed through whites interference. To me, this book also gives the best description of how Native American people are connected to the land.We also get the long life of Lame Deer. That guy lived quite a life. From criminal to Medicine Man, Lame Deer gives us frank description of all points in his life.For me, the descriptions of the ceremonies and the myths behind them got a little tedious, but yet it is important to have a complete description of them. This book is a good reminder that the history of Native Americans is not over. It continues as does their battles for their sacred lands. As a dominant culture we have a tendency to think, we have to move on. That is the past. This book describes how Native Americans are trying to do this, but their ancestors were massacred. They were not even allowed to keep their culture. It was takne from them at gun point.

  • Cobertizo
    2019-04-23 16:04

    "Los hombres nacieron para vivir en tipis, no en los cajones que vosotros llamáis apartamentos. Habéis convertido a los hombres en marcadores de reloj registrador y a las mujeres en criaturas realmente timoratas. Vivís en prisiones construidas por vosotros mismos y que llamáis hogares, oficinas o fábricas. ¿Sabéis que es esa cultura de la privación de la que hablan siempre los antropólogos? Es ser un muchacho blanco de clase media que vive en un apartamento de varios niveles con televisión en color (...) Ellos nunca sabrán que la Tierra es un ser vivo, que las montañas hablan, los árboles cantan, los lagos pueden pensar, las piedras tienen alma y las rocas poder."

  • Peter Hutt Sierra
    2019-05-19 11:14

    A series of anecdotes detailing the life of the Lakota Sioux medicine man Lame Deer and the rituals and beliefs of his people. He belongs to that generation that helped keep the tribe's customs alive from those particularly dark days after the conquest to the dawn of the modern Indian rights movement. The book really doesn't do much for me. It's informative and Lame Deer comes of as a decent guy, but I just found it rather dull.

  • Samantha Sonntag
    2019-04-27 14:54

    A stunning and insightful read.

  • Libby
    2019-05-04 17:04

    Needed time to read this. There was a lot to process in understanding of the man and the culture.

  • Rachel Jackson
    2019-05-11 11:21

    It's always hard for me to read books about being "spiritual" because it's difficult to reconcile my lack of belief with the beliefs that others have. I have no problems with other people's beliefs — well, provided they don't cause harm to anyone — and I find people's adherence to religions or other spiritual paths fascinating. But I just can't get into them myself.So reading John Fire Lame Deer's book was both good and bad for me. It was an interesting first-person account of some of the ceremonies and rites that a Lakota Sioux would participate in, past and present, but I still couldn't help but scoff at some of the things he mentions. I just can't believe in spiritual visions, the idea that going through all these ridiculously elaborate ceremonial steps can make a difference on someone's health or well-being — it would have to be more like a placebo effect. Plus, I grew weary with how much of the book was only focused on the spiritual aspects of Indian-ness, instead of the political or social upheavals tribes have experienced even within Lame Deer's own lifespan. I understand that the book was supposed to focus more on ceremonies, because Lame Deer was a medicine man and that's the life he knew best. But it would have been more interesting to hear about some of the other things in his life, like he mentioned at the beginning of the book, such as his run-ins with the law and the adventures he had before settling down. One thing I will say was fascinating reading this book was that I never realized how similar all religions are, when it all comes down to it. Sure, there are beliefs in higher powers. But there were sections in this book that reminded me of other concepts in religion. There was the section where Lame Deer mentions the earth rolling up like a scroll and refreshing, so to speak, back to the way things were; this is a concept reflected in a more fire-and-brimstone way in the Book of Mormon. There also is talk of prophets, the way a Judeo-Christian religion would approach it; Lame Deer mentions the Light Man and the prospect of a Y2K-type calamity. I suppose when all is said and done, people want to believe in something, and they look to what they're familiar with to tell them about the world. Lame Deer did that in this book, and other religious believers do it, too. But in this day and age, when we know more things objectively and scientifically, that's not the only path there is. It just depends how much you want to depend on traditions and the way things have been. (And I know, I know, that's such a white perspective to have. But I can't help it. That's who I am.)

  • Sue Jackson
    2019-05-11 15:19

    I enjoyed reading Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions. It was interesting to read about life though the perspective of a medicine man. I was very surprised that he, as a medicine man, was human. I know that sounds weird but I always thought of medicine men as honorable and almost untouchable and well respected. In this book, this medicine man is not always a good man, he was a womanizer and drank, yet he became a medicine man based on his visions. Yes he grew old with clear perspective and values but his journey surprised me. This book also made the fact that the Native Americans were uprooted and put on reservations more real. We have all read about it but this book put a more personal spin on that sad time in history.The rituals were foreign to me such as the power of using pipe, herbs and even the sweat lodge. It was interesting to read about the importance of listening to animals and the various power they are believed to have. Despite these differences, the core of many of these Native American values resinate in me. While reading about the grandfather and some of the elders, I could easily have heard the values of my relatives. Some of the spiritual feelings that he described could easily have been something that I've experienced myself but with different words or perspective. For example, I spent years visiting my mother with dementia. Some days were so difficult that I don't know how I continued to visit and help her. On those days, I could swear that the strength to continue came from an outside, perhaps spiritual source: it was not merely me. I would recommend this book as way to remember history and make it seem real. The memories of this old medicine man are now in writing for others to share. As a side note, I found the introduction to be very helpful. Having that history may this story more relevant.

  • Don Flynn
    2019-05-09 11:13

    We have so many comforts living this way, but what have we lost to get here? Why do we have so much stress in our lives? Why does this world we've built for ourselves feel so fragile?Lame Deer, a Lakota shaman, has answers to these questions and many more. In the past 25 years or so, I've read a lot of Native American literature, both fiction and non-fiction. I'm continually drawn to it, learning from it, feeling a kinship with the authors. Today, the way we live life is like a car heading at full speed toward a distant wall, but we don't see it, and we refuse to take our foot off the gas. I see warnings about this every day in current events, but we seem slow to heed them. It's okay, because it'll be decided for us at some point anyway. But it will be more difficult by then."We must try to save the white man from himself. This can be done only if all of us, Indians and non-Indians alike, can again see ourselves as part of this earth, not as an enemy from the outside who tries to impose its will on it."

  • Diva
    2019-05-10 17:19

    My last book in 2014, utterly fascinating and interesting. I drew quite a few parallels with the American Indian beliefs and cultures and Hinduism - this was very insightful as well as painful in part, mostly the foreword (!!). People say it is a funny book, I don't agree that much but it did made me chuckle at two places. It is a book of philosophy and understanding and of keeping an open mind. It was a story near to my heart, as most of its theories find a believer in me - though of course there are a few parts which I might not believe in. I am one who prays to nature, so this was like a soul brother talking to me or something like that :) So many truths in this book, so easily woven in to interesting stories. At times the child in me said to me, "Oh , aren't you reading a grown up book!" and I said , "yes". It is a friend's copy and thinking that he has read this made me feel much closer to the person too. Weirdly, it was as if he was there the whole time.

  • Bill
    2019-05-15 10:07

    This is a fascinating look into Sioux culture from an actual wicasa wakan (medicine man in common American parlance). It is a rare window into Lakota rites (the sundance, sweat bath and vision quest), stories and beliefs. Lame Deer also gives his perspective on white society and its spiritual and ethical bankruptcy (he spent some years in white society). He sees many of us chasing the almighty dollar, disconnected from the land, plants, animals and each other (spot on). By contrast, the Sioux give things away, take care of each other and feel connected to the rocks and animals in their world.The last chapter, in which Richard Erdoes, his co-writer, speaks is also very affecting. Erdoes, a European who grew up in the Austro-Hungarian empire, recounts his childhood and the events that eventually led him to America and Native Americans.This book is a good tonic for an increasingly empty, soulless, isolated world.

  • Michael Baca
    2019-04-26 09:55

    This is one book that I have read several times over the years. Seems every time I see it on a shelf at the book store I buy another copy cause my old one I gave away so that it my inspire another person. It's the story Lame Deer, a rodeo clown, outlaw and medicine man. We start with a journey up the hill on his first vision quest as a young boy and follow him throughout the amazing journey that is his life. When I read this book I feel as thought I am sitting next to Lame Deer as we drive along a dirt road in an old Chevy pickup, him telling me his story as I try to pay attention to the road. I feel his pain, his joy and his frustrations along the way. You cannot help but put yourself in the scene as it's played out. This is one of the greatest tales ever told and reminds me of the saying "Heroes are never forgotten, legends never die."

  • Elde
    2019-05-03 13:08

    This book was recommended by a young lady working at the Bear Butte Visitor Center when I was there a couple years ago. I bought it that day but never got around to reading it until now. I am so glad I listened to her! It's a combination of autobiography, cultural anthropolgy & history. I have lived in South Dakota my entire life and have been to many of the places mentioned. I am familiar with the culture & history of the Sioux tribes. I also know the current living conditions on the reservations and attitudes people have toward the Native Americans. Despite knowing all these things or maybe because I do, this book was fascinating! It seems like an honest description of what life would have been for him. This is definitely on my list of books to keep & read again.

  • Mike
    2019-05-15 11:18

    Nothing to romanticize about the life of this Lakota medicine man. John Lame Deer was a hard drinking, womanizing, law-breaking rodeo clown who, all along, was learning the ways of the shaman, living a full life, exploring the dark side as well as the light, so that, unlike the Christian clergy, he could, when helping his people, speak and act out of experience. To look through the eyes of Lame Deer is to see how it’s possible for the symbolic world and the everyday world to coincide, how an ordinary pot of simmering stew, for example, is replete with significance and meaning, which, if one chooses to see, is true with everything in this life.