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By: Ella Cara Deloria
Waterlily is a novel of Indian life---of the Dakotas, or Sioux. But apart from dealing with an actual people at a more-or-less-identifiable time and place, it has little in common with the conventional historical fiction centered on famous people and major events. For the book was written by Ella Deloria, herself a Sioux and an accomplished ethnologist, who sought to record and preserve traditional Sioux ways through this imaginative recreation of life in the camp circle. It is of special value because it is told from a woman's perspective---one that is much less well known than the warrior's or the holy man's. More fully and compelling than any ethnological report, and with equal authority, it reveals the intricate system of relatedness, obligation, and respect that governed the world of all Dakotas as it takes the protagonist, Waterlily, through the everyday and the extraordinary events of a Sioux woman's experience.
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