4 out of 4 stars
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Wakinyan Zi Tiospaye by Helene E. Hagan is an exciting book on the nature of the Lakota people. Wakinyan Zi Tiospaye means Yellow Thunder Camp. This camp is under the leadership of Russell Means, William Means and Shari Means. The camp aims to bring the Lakota people back to their original practices and beliefs and provide a place where they are free from alcohol, violence, weapons, and other things which are against their rules.
This book follows the Yellow Thunder Camp’s claim to 800 acres of land of National Forest and the “sacredness” of the Black Hills. While the Lakota people insist that the Black Hills hold spiritual importance to them, a testimony by James A. Hanson infers otherwise. Hanson claims that studies have shown that the Lakota people do not require a special place of worship or require unique circumstances for their worship. The author is inspired to write this book after several investigations into the history and nature of the Lakota people and several visits to the Yellow Thunder Camp.
This book contains a good number of positive aspects. The author tries to carry the reader along by explaining the concepts used in the book. The book comprises footnotes for concepts that the author felt required more explanation. The book is divided into four parts, each part discussing an individual concept. An appendix is provided at the end of the book. This appendix is comprehensive as it contains documents from the trial and the submissions of judges and lawyers. Most parts of the text included images that would help a reader picture the camp being talked about.
The author makes submissions from an objective point of view, removing all forms of bias and what was termed ‘Westerner’s scientific paradigm’ in the book. She talks about a new method of study that will cover the experiences and feelings of the people. The book is educative not just because it provides extensive information on the Lakota people, it also offers sections and provisions of different Acts such as the Bill Bradley Act of 1986 and sections of the U.N resolution. I did not find a lot of errors in this book. Hence, it was professionally edited.
Wakinyan Zi Tiospaye is a very insightful and educative read. I could not find any negative aspects in this book. It was carefully written in a well-explained manner. It is an eye-opening book. I rate this book four out of four stars. I did not rate it lower because there is nothing to dislike about the book. I recommend this book to all anthropologists. History lovers and lawyers would also appreciate this book.
Wakinyan Zi Tiospaye
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