From pony to airplane, from medicine dance to Christian worship---Mountain Wolf Woman, Sister of Crashing Thunder is the life story of a Winnebago woman, told in her own words to her adopted kinswoman, Nancy Lurie. This retelling of more than seventy-five years of Native American life is both a candid and compelling account of how one woman lived through a period of cultural crisis.
Mountain Wolf Woman tells of her childhood in Wisconsin, her brief stay at a mission school, her marriage to "Bad Soldier," and her religious experiences with peyote. Her struggle to maintain her family against many hardships---odds that would have defeated a less vigorous and self-confident person---underscores her perseverance and tenacity. Whether she is describing her wanderings as a child or her misfortunes later in life, Mountain Wolf Woman sets forth her views in honest and perceptive terms, adding all the more power to her narrative.
This book is a valuable companion to the story of Mountain Wolf Woman's brother, immortalized by Paul Radin in Crashing Thunder, a classic of anthropological literature. It will also be of interest to those interested in ethnographic records, the role of women in native cultures, and Midwestern Native Americans, in general.
Nancy O. Lurie has written extensively on Native American culture over her long career. She is now retired from her former position as head curator of anthropology, Milwaukee Public Museum.
Chapter I Earliest Recollections 1
Chapter II Livelihood 8
Chapter III Growing Up 18
Chapter IV Marriage 29
Chapter V Conversion to Peyote 39
Chapter VI We Live at Black River Falls 52
Chapter VII Medicines and a Vision 61
Chapter VIII Children and Grandchildren 69
A First Version of Mountain Wolf Woman's Autobiography 84
B Commentary by Nancy Oestreich Lurie 92
C Pronunciation Guide 109