World of the Teton Sioux Indians (Paperback)

Their Music, Life, and Culture

By Frances Densmore, Joseph A. Fitzgerald (Editor), Charles E. Trimble

World Wisdom Books, 9781936597512, 368pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2016

List Price: 23.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Sometime in August 1913, two Sioux warriors, Old Buffalo and Swift Dog, met with Frances Densmore at a makeshift recording site in McLaughlin, South Dakota. What Old Buffalo and Swift Dog said that day about life as they knew it before the reservation era began lives on still in the pages of this fascinating book. Densmore went on to interview numerous Sioux (or Lakota)/Teton (Lakota) Sioux men and women, collecting both their songs and their stories. The present version is an abridged edition of Teton Sioux Music, which according to William Powers is one of the few monographs universally regarded as a true classic of Lakota culture. It has been skillfully edited to focus less on musical technicality and more on the cultural value of Densmore's work. Its subjects include the Sun Dance, dreams, treatment of the sick, military societies, buffalo hunts, and social dances. Also included are over 130 color and black-and-white illustrations which further bring to life the world of the Teton Sioux.

About the Author

Frances Theresa Densmore was born in 1867 in Red Wing, Minnesota and spent nearly 60 years working for the Smithsonian Institution s Bureau of American Ethnology. She visited some thirty-five American Indian tribes, recorded more than 2500 songs, collected hundreds of artifacts, and transcribed a wealth of first-person narrations. Densmore died in her hometown in 1957. Her work remains highly valued by scholars and by many members of the first nations she studied. Joseph A. Fitzgerald studied Comparative Religion at Indiana University. An adopted grandson of the Crow Sun Dance Chief Thomas Yellowtail, he maintains contact with members of the Crow, Sioux, and Shoshone nations. Fitzgerald is the award-winning editor of The Cheyenne Indians: Their History and Lifeways, Illustrated. He lives with his wife and daughters in Bloomington, Indiana. Charles Trimble was born and reared on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and was principal founder of the American Indian Press Association and later served as Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians. He is retired and lives with his wife in Omaha, Nebraska."