Waterlily is a book on Dakota existence, as it seems, right before contact with Euro

Americans; it does not speak of Europeans until the later half of the book. This book

gave me insight to an aspect of customs and ceremonial practice from a Dakota

viewpoint. From this outlook I acquired first hand knowledge from a female’s position

which sparked my interest aptly from the beginning.

The correlation between community members association in any open approach was

taboo. Bluebird set precedence to the kinship rule of avoidance in keeping her silence

when her horse was being led by her Father-in-law, even though she was in the worst

discomfort an expectant mother could ever imagine, she kept her composure until he gave

the reigns to her Mother in-law. Even then, she kept her voice low-key concerning her

situation of the necessity to dismount from her horse.

The essence extracted from Bluebirds self-control was adamant. It was a highlight of

many customs revealed by Ella Deloria in this book. The descriptiveness of Bluebird’s

circumstances of going into labor and giving birth gave deeper context to the sacrament

of childbirth. For instance, after Bluebird gave birth she seen all of the white water lilies

surrounding her and her baby so she bellowed her joy and excitement of all the beauty, I

related to the euphoria she felt as she gazed at the beautiful lilies in which Waterlily was

subsequently named. This often happens after the painstaking labor of childbirth to many of

us women.

Bluebird’s first marriage to Star Elk was an unpleasant one right from the start. Her

Grandmother’s worst fear came true about a devious, underhanded man taking advantage of

Bluebird and so it was. He was a tormented man who continually imagined his wife

encouraging other men to desire her. So finally being the cranky jerk he was, he didn’t care

about keeping his...