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By Larissa Petrillo

Being Lakota explores modern Lakota id and culture during the life-story narratives of Melda and Lupe Trejo. Melda Trejo, n?e purple endure (1939–), is an Oglala Lakota from Pine Ridge Reservation, whereas Lupe Trejo (1938–99) is Mexican and a long-time resident at Pine Ridge. of their 40 years jointly, the Trejos raised 11 kids, supported themselves as migrant staff, and celebrated their lives and cultural heritage. Conversations among this Lakota/Mexican couple and pupil Larissa Petrillo express key points of the couple’s lifestyle: what it ability to be an Indian and Lakota; how they negotiate their assorted ethnic identities; their emotions approximately contemporary matters with appropriating Lakota spiritual practices and ideology; and the tenets of Lakota spirituality that form their perceptions and activities. those matters are highlighted as they discuss their reports constructing a Sundance rite. within the overdue Eighties they all started preserving a Sundance at the pink undergo family’s land close to Allen, South Dakota, and the rite used to be devoted to Lupe after his death. Being Lakota deepens our realizing of recent Lakota existence and presents a memorable glimpse of the alternatives and paths taken by means of members in a local neighborhood. It additionally serves to discover new methods to collaborative ethnography, with reflections on studying to paintings good in a local neighborhood. (20080609)

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Extra resources for Being Lakota: Identity and Tradition on Pine Ridge Reservation

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It is therefore necessary that they recorded their lives together, and I certainly would not have learned the same thing from Melda’s stories alone. Vine Deloria says that “stories must be passed along as part of the family heritage in the same manner as physical goods” (For 184). In this sense, the tiyospaye, or kin group, is central to the support of the community. Accordingly, identity, family, and tradition are connected in ways that align Melda and Lupe and their stories, and this was one of the first significant lessons that I learned in our project together.

I was taught that way. Up to this day, I never talk back to them. We just sit down and talk real good. So I think my dad’s teaching was real good. Lupe and me both come from strict families. Really strict. But, I 24 They Come from the Family never got spanked. They just always talked to us. ” So we touch our ears. Both of them. ” He said, “God gave you those ears for one reason. And you use it. ” So he talks to us like that. Oh, he made us go through that . . touch your ears. And, my mom always say that your brains is still nunshila.

In Nebraska, we came to a town named Sidney. We didn’t have a car back then. They pick us up in a cattle truck. From Sidney to Scottsbluff is about forty or fifty miles. I went to work on a farm. There’s a man working out there. His name is Dave Martin. He was a good man to work for. He’s got everything. Plates, beds, spoons. Everything. There was food in the house. Dave Martin, he’s a good man. He’s got kids. One named Earl, the oldest one. And the other one named Don. And the youngest one had a daughter named Margie.

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