“All tasks of women—cooking, caring for children, tanning and sewing—were considered dignified and worthwhile. No work was looked upon as menial, consequently there were no menial workers.”—Luther Standing Bear, 1931
Sioux women are the center of tribal life and the core of the tiospaye, the extended family. They maintain the values and traditions of Sioux culture, but their own stories and experiences often remain untold.
Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve combed through the winter counts and oral records of her ancestors to discover their past. The result, Sioux Women: Traditionally Sacred, illuminates the struggles and joys of her grandmothers and other women who maintained tribal life as circumstances changed and outside cultures pushed for dominance.
Sneve’s storytelling powers enliven her personal exploration of the roles of Sioux girls and women, making the book an accessible journey into modern American Indian society.
“Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve has written . . . with the intention of dispelling stereotypes and negative images of Native Americans. She has brought the richness of Native American culture and heritage to thousands.”—National Humanities Council, 2000 National Humanities Medalist committee member
Sneve “has gained a reputation, both in Indian country and the literary community, as a first-rate storyteller.”—Bernie Hunhoff, South Dakota Magazine
Sneve “is a good example of an elder in the traditional sense of the word. She’s a careful observer of experiences, and she has learned, not only from her own experiences, but also [from those] of her people.”—Chuck Woodard, South Dakota State University