Essay on Pretty-shield: Medicine Woman of the Crows by Fran Lindeman

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Pretty-shield: Medicine Woman of the Crows was originally published in 1932 as the Red Mother, written by Frank B. Linderman. Through a series of interviews, he tells the story of Pretty-shield, an older Native American woman of the Crow Tribe. At this time, there were a fair amount Native American stories being published, but seldom were they told from the Native American woman's viewpoint― especially, told by a white male. In Native American cultures there is a considerable emphasis placed on the particular role and position of the storyteller in sharing their culture; however, as non-Native American, Linderman had gained the trust of the Plains Tribal members. (Linderman xviii) Because Linderman is a white male, it brings up the…show more content…
With that being said, through his published works, Linderman sought to preserve the Crow Tribe's culture and heritage. Because he spent a vast amount of time among them, he personally witnessed the effects of manifest destiny on Native Americans; in which colonialists sought to erase the identities of Native Americans. Thus, it was apparent to Linderman that many years of historical Native culture was quickly disappearing. Given the fact, that it was looked down upon in Native American culture for a Native woman to socialize with European white men, Linderman was delightfully surprised when Pretty-shield consented to an interview. With Pretty-shields consent, an interpreter, and Linderman's use of sign-language, for the first time in history, a record of the Crow's experience through the eye's of a Native American female was finally possible. Pretty-shield trusted Linderman and did not hesitate to share her experiences with him because she also wanted to preserve her cultural heritage (Linderman vi). Pretty-shield was a medicine woman, a healer and an activist for her tribe. Her intelligence, her sharp memory, and her determination did not come from a formal education, but from life experiences and her attribute of perseverance. Although many others in her tribe had forgotten or failed to show interest in the old tribal traditions, to Pretty-shield, these traditions were sacred and permanently

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