The Man Who Knew the Medicine by Henry Niese
The Teachings of Bill Eagle Feather

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The teachings of Bill Eagle Feather, Sun Dance chief and medicine man of the Rosebud Sioux, as told by his apprentice.

• Reveals personal accounts of important Native American rituals such as the yuwipi and the sun dance.

• Includes stories and teachings from the last years of Bill Eagle Feather's life.

Lakota medicine man Bill Schweigman Eagle Feather gained widespread recognition as an uncompromising spiritual leader in the 1960s when he defied a U.S. government ban on Indian religious practice and performed the Sun Dance ritual with public piercing. He continued on as Sun Dance chief and teacher of the Lakota way of life until his death in 1980. 

Author Henry Niese met Bill Eagle Feather during a sweatlodge ceremony preceding a Sun Dance on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in 1975. That was the beginning of the relationship between student and teacher that is captured with humor and respect in The Man Who Knew the Medicine. Niese brings readers along on his journey from outsider to initiate to elder, a transformation guided by Bill Eagle Feather. He describes sacred traditions such as the sweatlodge, the yuwipi, and the powerful Sioux Sun Dance, which Niese participated in for 16 years on the Rosebud reservation. His firsthand accounts provide a portal into a sacred reality as well as insight into the struggles of the Indian community to perpetuate its values and religious truths in the context of contemporary America. Above all, The Man Who Knew the Medicine offers the opportunity to experience the unique personality of a fascinating individual and respected healer through the eyes of a friend and a student.


About Henry Niese

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The Man Who Knew the Medicine The Teachings of Bill Eagle Feather PrefaceChapter One One More Journey to Make: The End of the BeginningChapter Two Luck: The Chosen OneChapter Three Uncle Bill's Camp: The Valley of the GhostsChapter Four "You Ain't No Sioux!"Chapter Five How the Dogs Chose Their Chief-or Didn't! Chapter Six Hanblecia: Crying for a DreamChapter Seven Lowanpi: The Ceremony in the CellarChapter Eight Dying: He Sees the Ghost DiggersChapter Nine The Blessing: Sun Dancing is DifficultChapter Ten Uncle's Prophecy: The First HealingChapter Eleven Medicine and ArtChapter Twelve Uncle's Teaching: Fear Defeats My Final LessonChapter Thirteen Deaf Eddy: The Second HealingChapter Fourteen Carrying on the Teaching: "Healing and Helping this Precious Life to Redeem" Chapter Fifteen "Tunkasila, Ta Wokunze Ca Lena Cicu"Bibliography
Published October 1, 2002 by Bear & Company. 202 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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The Man Who Knew the Medicine: The Teachings of Bill Eagle Feather is the story of how Bill Schweigman Eagle Feather, Medicine Man of the Lakota Sioux, accepted Henry Niese, a too-white-to-be-dancing part-Cherokee, as a student of the Medicine Way.

Mar 13 2004 | Read Full Review of The Man Who Knew the Medicine...

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