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Me and Mine: The Life Story of Helen…
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Me and Mine: The Life Story of Helen Sekaquaptewa

by Louise Udall

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7. [Me and Mine: the Life Story of Helen Sekaquaptewa] by [[Louise Udall]]

When I was in grad school and we were studying different ethnic groups, the American Indian Movement was the largest part of our focus, and where current student sympathies were focused. This is really the first time I have read a biography presenting the other perspective. This book tells the life story of a Hopi woman who, after being kidnapped and sent to government schools, embraced that white way of life and believed the stories of Christianity to be better than the old traditional Hopi stories. She continued living on reservations, experiencing the tension between the "hostiles" and the "friendlies". As a "friendly" she was looked down upon, judged, and treated poorly by the "hostiles". Her husband and children became active in reservation politics and activities, holding various offices and serving as police. In this book published by the University of Arizona Press in 1962, she is presented as a successful story of assimilation into white culture through white education. (She attended the Phoenix Indian School.) I tend to see it more as Stockholm Syndrome, although with my mental health training, that would be my tendency.

There is a lot of detail about daily life for the Hopi on reservations in the early 1900s which I enjoyed learning about. Lengthy descriptions of marriage rituals are intriguing, for example. Those descriptions made this book interesting reading for me. I was glad to hear a different side of the story, although my admiration still lies with Leonard Peltier and the AIM. That is probably just, perhaps, due to a personal interest in revolutionaries rather than any real knowledge about these issues. ( )
1 vote mkboylan | Jan 18, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0816502706, Paperback)

An energetic Hopi woman emerges from a traditional family background to embrace the more conventional way of life in American today. Enchanting and enlightening—a rare piece of primary source anthropology.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:08 -0400)

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