5.0 on the Masq Scale. The Dark Horse Speaks by @LttlWhiteBird #autobiography #review

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The Dark Horse Speaks

Written by Little White Bird

Genre: Autobiography

Remember Wounded Knee!

Little White Bird lived on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with the Oglala Lakota. She was arranged to marry a Lakota Chief who traveled two thousand miles to claim her as his wife. They lived together in the poorest county in the United States, yet it is an area rich in history and conflict: the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in the village of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. 

This is Little White Bird's real-life memoir of Truth. What starts off as a cross-country travel story ends up being a complete lifestyle change. The book provides an honest look into the Lakota way of life that only insiders are allowed to see. It is a recent, in depth study of life, love, and loss through bitter-sweet examinations of culture conflicts, women's studies, and American Indian history both present and past. 

This memoir encapsulates the heart of a person who wears her soul on her sleeve and puts it on paper for all to share in this unique, remarkable journey. 

Roy M's Review

This is an intriguing and thought-provoking true story, so much so that some have doubted its veracity. Indeed at some points it beggars belief but the whole thing rings true to me. It is written by a modern, free-spirited and educated young woman who was brought up conventionally but who was never going to fit into the pattern expected by her family and friends.

She is plenty old and worldly wise enough to know her own mind as her life changes entirely. Prior to a bikers’ convention at Sturgis, South Dakota she reads a book (Lakota Woman) by Mary Crow Dog of the impoverished Lakota Indian people. She persuades her biker boyfriend to detour to their reservation at Pine Ridge, wanting to learn more to take back to supplement her college work.

In 1890 the remnants of Custer’s 7th Cavalry murdered hundreds of Lakota people, including women and children, burying the bodies in a mass grave. Little White Bird (LWB, we never get to know her birth name) visits the reservation and the mass grave. There she has her epiphany, and describes it with some powerful writing.

I heard the Ancestors from the 1890 Massacre calling to me. Their dead voices became alive, rising from the ground, screaming from the sky and earth, their whirling swirled around me, creating the wind… Everything inside my body and mind, heart and spirit, was swept away. Like the sirens singing to the Greek mythological warriors, luring them to their deaths as their sweet, hypnotic voices made their boats crash upon the rocks, the Ancestors called to me.

LWB’s boat crashed upon the rocks. She is mesmerised by the Lakota nation and Chief Two Bear Paws. And it’s at this point, when she agrees to live with him on the reservation as his wife that the real story begins.

It’s a riveting description of real life on the Pine Ridge reservation. But it will horrify most modern women. There is nothing heroic about the modern Lakota people. The men have lost their hunting, the women their tipis, they have no identity only their traditions. In their poverty they are as materialistic as the rest of modern America.

The Chief treats LWB cruelly, as a chattel, with no hint of affection. And what is remarkable is that she continues to love him, accepting the hardships, determined to help put right the wrongs done by the White Man.

She tries to leave him more than once. He brutally assaults her. She finally leaves for good…no! She comes back again, unbelievably.

There are so many truths told here. The Indians despise the White Man and no show of remorse or reparation will change that. Those that see the Indians as ‘noble’ will need to think again. And on another level it is remarkable how much abuse and disdain a woman can take and keep coming back for more.

A remarkable book, one you should read and draw your own conclusions.

Review Disclaimer: Book provided in exchange for an honest review.