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Sacred Fireplace (Oceti Wakan): Life and…

Sacred Fireplace (Oceti Wakan): Life and Teachings of a Lakota Medicine… (1999)

by Peter Catches

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2.5 Stars

This book was written by Pete Catches & his son Peter. Pete Catches told these things to his son who translated them and put them into book form. There are a few sections that were written by Peter Catches as well.

Pete Catches was a Lakota Medicine Man from outside the Pineridge Rez....he was not always one....as at one time he preferred to live a life uncommitted to the Canka Luta Waste (Good Red Road)

Although the book covered Hanbleceya (Crying for a Vision), Wan Wangyang Wacipi (Sundance), Inipi (Coming Back to Life ceremony)....with explanations of those ceremonies....

I found this book to be rather boring and a bit didactic. I have read several other books by Lakota Wicasa Wakan (Medicine [Holy] Men) and there is always a sense of humor that goes along with some of their stories, a balance of serious & light. This book did not have that balance nor did it have that feeling of "humanity" that I have found in other books I have read by the Lakota & other Wicasa Wakan.

( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Pete Catches tells of his life, from early years, teachings and experiences. He wasn't a perfect person, but he did accept the responsibility to be a medicine man, as he was guided by his vision. He shares some teachings about the Inipi, hanbleciya, sundance, and hunkapi ceremonies as well as some traditional tales. He wanted to start a healing center for his people who struggle with alcohol. ( )
  juniperSun | Dec 18, 2012 |
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With much love and devotion, I dedicate this book to Okawinga Win (Perpetual Cycle Woman), Amelia Emily Ribsman Catches, and all wakunka (elders) who hold the eternal female embodiment of the Great Mystery's infinity of love. It is they who teach wakanyeja (sacred beings, children) into adulthood. In the Spotted Eagle Clan and the Sundance Nation, Okawinga Win's spirit lives as a true and loving flower of a matriarch forever in bloom.
--Peter V. Catches (Zintkala Oyate)
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This is the winter of 1989, and I am seventy-seven years old.
Introduction: Petaga Yuha Mani, known as Pete S. Catches, Sr., was considered a holy man of the Dakota Nation.
Preface: Wen I was a young boy, we lived at a place called Calico, a village between three and four miles northwest of the town of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, on Highway 18.
Epilogue: Because all of us are human and raised the way we are, we cannot truly decide for ourselves who we want to be.
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