Sunday, February 27, 2011

Original sin

"I had read elsewhere of the misery of the Sioux's Cheyenne allies when they were attacked by the army in the winter campaign of 1877.  But I'd never read that, as Powers reveals, the army's Shoshone scouts began howling with rage and grief when they discovered, among the Cheyenne's effects, a bag containing the right hands of a dozen Shoshone children killed by the Cheyenne on a recent raid.  Though the arrival of white people increased the darkness, Powers shows that it existed before.  As an old woman at Pine Ridge told a Yale anthropologist in 1931, she would like to go back to the days before the reservation, 'if we could be free from attack by the enemy.'"

Ian Frazier, "The magic of Crazy Horse" (a review of The killing of Crazy Horse, by Thomas Powers), The New York review of books 58, no. 3 (February 24, 2011), 34.

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