U of M AMIN 1003 - Dakota History and Culture in the 19th century

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Sheridan LinAMIN 1003Brenda Child2/23/2022Dakota History and Culture in the 19th centuryBy starting off the paper. I want to talk about Eastman’s definition of Santee's manhood and how he was not treated equally and that Santee men have a tough life. He also made a contrast between white manhood and Santee, which we all know that white men definitely had a lot more privileges. In some ways, Eastman's conception of Santee masculinity is frighteningly similar to that of white middle- and upper-class men throughout the Progressive Era. However, in terms of masculinity, I can't claim with certainty that the Eastman equivalence in Deep Woodsis a metaphysical continuity since, given the paucity of literature on Santee's masculinity, it would be an unjustified critical step. The comparison between Santee and Lakota manhood is extremely useful for examining Santee masculinity, despite the fact that there is little research onLakota masculinity. Still, after European contact, both tribes were Dakota, but their cultures differed. Nonetheless, due to Eastman's comparisons, other Dakota contexts, particularly the work of Ella Deloria. Deloria is also cautions against assuming all Dakota people acted similarly through the construction of Santee manhood, as well as constructions of white manhoods, noting that while the Santee practiced different ceremonies and thought differently, this does not mean that they were different. In fact, they found themselves as closely related. To support myargument, I speculate that the concepts of manhood developed by Santee and Teton are similar. This argument is based on Deloria's work, notably her book Waterlily, which was inspired by herextensive anthropological research. A number of the cultural aspects of the Teton male culture are similar to those experienced by Eastman as a Santee. Although the novel focuses on the tribes' linguistic differences, Deloria incorporates two references to common people meetings between the Santees and the Tetons, suggesting some cultural continuity.In Deloria's words, Dakota men's duties varied depending on who they were: warriors, hunters, or scouts. Independence and individualism, as well as personal discipline and selflessness in combat and in everyday life, were valued by Teton men. The way Deloria portraysTeton manhood in Waterlily illustrates this idea because Teton men are shown in a multitude of jobs outside of warriors. "Some men had a remarkable skill and were valued for it, and it did not imply becoming a fighter," she writes in Waterlily. Being a good Teton man requires not only individualism and independence, but also a strong kinship ethos that binds them to their people so they're able to serve the general welfare of the tribe, even if that means doing women's work. Indeed, in Teton society, hoarding goods for one's own benefit was considered dishonorable, but charity and reciprocity for the welfare of the community gave Teton men and women a high position of honor. As Deloria writes, “being good citizens was what men lived by,” and “social standing and reputation hinged on it.” Furthermore, the men in Waterlily clearly admire the cultural values of physical fortitude, courage, and bravery, as evidenced by allusions to the admiration of war scars on male bodies and Deloria's depiction of the Sun Dance ritual, wherepeople sacrificed to great spirits by piercing their bodies and hanging them on holy pillars. Waterlily describes Teton culture, especially the male culture, as being generous to strangers, especially those who may be misfits, as Deloria describes the Teton culture. This also makes a clear distinction that how much the Dakota people valued the importance of each individual and their identities.On top of that, Eastman's statements about native combat and eventual reconciliation between traditional adversaries align with Deloria's description of the Teton Dakotas and their connection to the Osage in Waterlily. Considering Deloria's description of Teton male culture and its striking similarities to Eastman's portrayal of Santee's masculinity, it seems likely that Eastman's masculinity is a justification of Santee’s perspective. Eastman was well aware of his predominantly Anglo-Saxon audience and his fixation on the revival of white masculinity in the progressive era. As a consequence, he frames his discussion of Santee's manhood in a way that echoes both his view of Santee and Anglo-Saxon definitions of gender in the hope of giving men and himself more voices. More importantly, the Native Americans must be treated equally with whites. In other words, kinship and the idea that "one must be a good relative" helped to create a wide social and communal network that spread beyond Dakota territory, ensuring that a Dakota could find a relative no matter where they went. This has had a significant impact on American

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U of M AMIN 1003 - Dakota History and Culture in the 19th century

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