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Sheridan Lin AMIN 1003 Brenda Child 2 23 2022 Dakota History and Culture in the 19th century By 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 Woods is 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 on Lakota 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 my argument 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 her extensive 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 portrays Teton 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 where people 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 society

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

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