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.
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