The most interesting thing when contrasting the life stories of such like two women is that, amongst their all differences, they come up through the contact with the Sioux traditions. The two women are a pear to be fully humans in relation with themselves as well as with their foundation. Waterlily being Dakota a woman who live in the extended family, they do work together to rise families as well as caring out traditions in groups. Watedrlily is surrounded by many relatives be it cousins, aunts a well as grandparents who takes part in the growth of the young girl, she was brought up in an educative manner.
On the other hand, Mary Crow Dog belongs to the western, born in poverty. She was brought up without a father and very much rebellious. This makes the tone of Lokato woman is much harsh as compared to the soft diction and much respective perspective of Waterlily. Mary was born as a half blood, her father being Spanish. She only saw her father just once, another experience is that, her step father was much violent and used to fight with her mother. In addition, the grandmother was much caring and kind. She lived in bloody times, where by people were killed but no one was interested in investigating the incident. She was not raised according to her traditions, but according to the traditions of the whites so that she adapt to the white society.
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Waterlily's education is just through seeing and experience as it used to come from anywhere. Her mother is like a teacher to her when she cares and cooks for the tepee. She is taught the Sioux customs by her cousin including mode of sitting as a woman. Story telling is also part of teaching in her community; jokes which were participated by every one were also part of education. In other circumstances, both boys and girls were taught together, as for instance, when grandmother takes waterlily and little chief to explain to them the great mystery. This means that her education was informal.
On the other hand, Mary is taken through formal education. She learnt in a boarding school where her customs were neither taught nor encouraged. She only learnt the culture of the white individuals. Unlike Waterlily who was taught her culture, Mary's customs were flushed out. Her teachers were neither kind nor soft, as Waterlily's grandmother, on her side, her teachers used to beat her in case she fails in prayers or devotions. In school, like watery, she also learnt about sex, though through harassment. Unlike waterlily, she learnt foreign language. From all these, it can be said that, the education system of Mary was much disastrous as compared from Waterlily education and the Sioux traditional methods, (Matchie, 1994).
The young womanhood of Waterlily differs much from her youth. The presence and practices of other peer provided suitable environment through which had some capabilities through her particular choices. When they reach adolescence, they are separated from women. And start learning the bicycle. Boys are taught different things from ladies, as for instance, while Chief is learning who to ride and different ways of detecting the enemy. She is cautioned on how she has to relate with young men. However, apart from learning from others, she gets to learn through her own experience.
On the other hand, Mary's teenager is much different, as it was full of taking alcohol, as well as fighting. To Mary, drinking was just natural, as white men used to advertise and sell them. Her choice in most cases was made out of existential, made during violent circumstances. Her nurturing was never based on neither family nor society fostering human development.
What are the values of Sioux society as they describe them?
The most virtues that were highly valued in the Sioux society includes; courage, generosity and sharing, fortitude, kinship as well as wisdom. Concerning generosity and sharing, individuals were known for what they give other than what they keep or own the only belonging of one's own is the body. Providing to the needy with having no hope or any return nurtures a generous and caring spirit. As an effect, the ritual give way is used to celebrate social, spiritual among other events such as young man's first hunt, and wedding. This value inspires artistic gifts. However, gifts of time, healing, comfort and support were highly valued as compared to materials, (Brave, Christopher & Todd, 2000).
Kinship is another key value in the Sioux society. Apart from being an idea, it is also a direction for day to day life. Other values like courage amongst others as mentioned earlier forms the Sioux cultural cardinal values. These and all their values are termed to be motives, judging their vice and virtue, connect to the responsibilities and gains of kinship. Every in this society was to act insure the good of the family of 200 to 300. The worst thing is to say "You live as though you have no relatives."
Fortitude forms the other value. It was not easy to live Sioux life. For endurance, an individual needs strong; patience. This value enables an individual to undertake what the individual need to undertake. Since childhood, the Sioux kid is taught how to adapt in any environment. The ladies were the modest in their ways. It was the responsibility of the elders to teach patience and tolerance. The rest of the kin were the models. Young kids were encouraged to engage in feats games, while the older ones were taught fating. In all their duties, they performed what is refereed to as in body as well as in spirit.
The Sioux valued courage. These individuals used to expect much from them to be protected from Oceti Sakowin. They used to accept their responsibility in arriving at a decision as well as being strong in meeting any fear. They used to endure battles, care their families, as well as fulfilling their spiritual needs. They used to teach courage through story telling on top of games as well as through daily examples. Young men showed their courage through vision quest.
Wisdom, young individuals learnt by watching their elders' wisdom. It used to develop with age increase, while a times as a special gift. Its usage came with increase in experience, particularly in issues dealing with spirit. The Sioux youngster followed their elders basing on the reason that their advice was much sage, they have strength of the spirit. The Sioux prepared for wisdom as they have for generations.
How did these values affect the way the protagonists dealt with their life struggles?
They valued a sense of community. We can see that many individuals in Sioux society worked together in rising children. Waterlily has no problem, as due to community responsibility, she faces simple life as compared to Mary who used to make her own decision, there was no one by her side to educate her on whom to live in the community. Waterlily has a mother; grandparents; as well as cousins on her side to assist her grow up in a sensible manner. After the death of Mary's aunt, there is no community responsibility to investigate the matter. As an effect, she suffers stresses alone. Concerning the issue of generosity, it is evident that, when Waterlily gives a pair to Chief, in return, she is given a horse; this connects her to the cultural past. Through Kinship, Waterlily is educated on various ways of achieving civility. On the other side, Mary is denied this value as he is taken to boarding school which does not teach about their traditions. Looking at wisdom, Mary has no one older to offer a world of wisdom. Waterlily on her side has grandmother who has a lot of wisdom.
How did the Sioux change between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? During the first have 19th century, a similar time that horse riding nomadic way of life of the Lakota was much flourishing, while the grasslands on the other side were being invaded by the European Americans. It was during this time that the U.S government underwent through discussions with the great nation of Sioux to sign a treaty of Great Sioux Reservations. The tribe well comes the economic relief on the way.
By 1870s the mounted pressure was too much, which then led to the Indian series war. The breaching of the Reservation contract, led to the broken into smaller reservations in the U.S. Such like reservations were rooted on the membership of the sub-hands. At a time, their holdings were diminished further and scattered by the by the allotment in severalty in the same century. This forced families that were nuclear onto smaller pieces of land, while the remaining land was given to non-Indian settlements, (Gardner, 2003).
In the late 19th century, it was far much difficult for Sioux. As they were confined to reservation, they were controlled by the self service Indians. As an effect, they were expected to farm on arid lands, in addition, most of their children were taken to boarding, where they were taught on the ways of a abandoning their Indian culture.
The sun dance which served as an integrating mechanism was burned though was never eradicated other than just going underground. In its gap, other religions like Ghost dance came to fill the gap. The early 20th century served as a period of an adjustment to reservation life on scattered allotments. Some reservations had prospered to a higher degree just to be devastated by economic depression and Bowl dust in the 1930s. This catastrophe introduced radical reforms. Helpful reforms included new Roosevelt administration. This era improved employment and subsistence chances for the reservations, and ensured that there was democratic election for tribal elders. They were pressured to adopt IRA-styled government and the constitution which they accepted. This resulted to a little bit of relief as they were advantaged with some economic development programs.
In the second half of the century, it was a time for renewal for many things. There were reductions in mortality as well as increase in birth rates. As an effect, they were encouraged to leave their reservations through voluntary relocation programs, as a result, they moved to the city. Since they were poorly educated, they were highly discriminated. By 1970s, there were radical movements and demonstrations to allow Indians to follow their own cultural values other than being forced to assimilate the Western Europe American traditions.
Despite the benefits accrued from the political and economical [programs in the Era of self- determinations, the Sioux reservations still considered as one of poorest areas in the United States. Some of them choose to open up casinos, while others have started joining the large scale capital infusions into their local economies. On the other hand, there are these who have never seen any improvement, in spite the fact that, joblessness rates have been improved by the casinos. Currently, though they have been transformed through decades, of deprivations and hardship, the greatest Sioux nation is undergoing vigorous, if much difficult renaissance.
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