Lakota-eye view,

Pasatiempo - - Scaled-down Force -

mean to be­lit­tle it, but if they [Pine Ridge res­i­dents] had 10 per­cent un­em­ploy­ment, it would feel like they were in heaven. It’s more like 75 per­cent on the reser­va­tion. Pasa: You’re giv­ing all your roy­al­ties from this book to ra­dio sta­tion KILI? Wil­lis: Yeah. The reser­va­tion ra­dio sta­tion is very im­por­tant, and it has the widest range of shows, from ed­u­ca­tion and health, Lakota-lan­guage shows, po­lit­i­cal de­bates, an­nounce­ments of what the lo­cal restau­rants are serv­ing, in­for­ma­tion about ac­ci­dents on the roads and school can­cel­la­tions, and also mu­sic — from tra­di­tional mu­sic to heavy metal and blues and jazz. On Sun­day morn­ing, they have lo­cal cow­boys come in and do gospel coun­try hour. Pasa: The way this book is struc­tured is a bit dif­fer­ent. You don’t see the pub­li­ca­tion in­for­ma­tion and the ta­ble of con­tents un­til 12 pages in. Wil­lis: That’s the edi­tor and me to­gether want­ing to in­vite the view­ers into an ex­pe­ri­ence with the sub­ject as quickly as pos­si­ble. Pasa: What kind of cam­eras did you use? Wil­lis: It was done over a long pe­riod, and I didn’t start it out as a project, so there’s ev­ery­thing from 35 mil­lime­ter to 8x10, and there are a few pho­tos in the book that were taken with dig­i­tal. Pasa: How did you get the po­ems that are in the book? Wil­lis: I did a lot to try to get com­mu­nity mem­bers to write or talk with me. A high-school teacher gave me the op­por­tu­nity to read through three years’ worth of po­ems and helped me get per­mis­sion from the stu­dents to use some of those. Some of the po­ems came from English classes and some were just the kids on their own. Pasa: The book comes with a CD with mu­sic you com­piled, in­clud­ing sweat-lodge songs. Aren’t those rit­ual? Wil­lis: Some would say they’re con­nected enough to cer­e­mony that they should not be recorded or sold. But those are ac­tu­ally from a com­mer­cial CD, and the peo­ple who sang them have the view­point that the only way to help the young peo­ple to un­der­stand this as­pect of their cul­ture is to pro­vide pho­to­graphs and record­ings.

Ellen Hol­low Head’s sweat lodge ( inipi)


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