Friday, August 5, 2016
Red Galactic Moon/ Red Crystal Dragon - Magnetic Bat Moon of Purpose, Day 11
Ella Cara Deloria (January 31, 1889 – February 12, 1971), (Yankton Dakota), also called Aŋpétu Wašté Wiŋ (Beautiful Day Woman), was an educator, anthropologist, ethnographer, linguist, and novelist of European American and Dakota ancestry. She recorded Sioux oral history and legends, and contributed to the study of their languages. In the 1940s, she wrote a novel, Waterlily. It was finally published in 1988, and in 2009 was issued in a new edition.
Deloria was born in 1889 in the White Swan district of the Yankton Indian Reservation, South Dakota. Her parents were Mary (or Miriam) (Sully) Bordeaux Deloria and Philip Joseph Deloria, the family having Yankton Dakota, English, French and German roots. (The family surname goes back to a French trapper ancestor named Francois-Xavier Delauriers.) Her father was one of the first Sioux to be ordained as an Episcopal priest. Her mother was the daughter of Alfred Sully, a general in the US Army, and a Métis Yankton Sioux. Ella was the first child to the couple, who each had several daughters by previous marriages. Her full siblings were sister Susan and brother Vine Deloria Sr., who became an Episcopal priest like their father.
Deloria was brought up on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, at Wakpala, and was educated first at her father's mission school, St. Elizabeth’s and All Saints Boarding School. She then went to a boarding school in Sioux Falls. After graduation, she attended Oberlin College, Ohio, to which she had won a scholarship. After two years at Oberlin, Deloria transferred to Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, and graduated with a B.Sc. in 1915.
She went on to become:
"one of the first truly bilingual, bicultural figures in American anthropology, and an extraordinary scholar, teacher, and spirit who pursued her own work and commitments under notoriously adverse conditions. At one point she lived out of a car while collecting material for Franz Boas."
Throughout her professional life, she suffered from not having the money or the free time necessary to take an advanced degree. She was committed to the support of her family. Her father and step-mother were elderly, and her sister Susan depended on her financially.
In addition to her work in anthropology (of which more below), Deloria had a number of jobs, including teaching (dance and physical education), lecturing and giving demonstrations (on Native American culture), and working for the Camp Fire Girls and for the YWCA. She also held positions at the Sioux Indian Museum in Rapid City, South Dakota, and as assistant director at the W.H. Over Museum in Vermillion. Her brother, Vine V. Deloria, Sr., was an Episcopal priest, noted for his charisma and superb storytelling. He became disillusioned with racism within the Episcopal Church. Her nephew was Vine Deloria, Jr., who became a firebrand writer, activist, and intellectual.
Deloria met Franz Boas while at Teachers College, and began a professional association with him that lasted until his death in 1942. Boas recruited her as a student, and engaged her to work with him on the linguistics of Native American languages. She also worked with Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict, prominent anthropologists who had been graduate students of Boas. For her work on American Indian cultures, she had the advantage of fluency in the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota dialects of Sioux, in addition to English and Latin.
Her linguistic abilities and her intimate knowledge of traditional and Christianized Sioux culture, together with her deep commitment both to American Indian cultures and to scholarship, allowed Deloria to carry out important, often ground-breaking work in anthropology and ethnology. She also translated into English several Sioux historical and scholarly texts, such as the Lakota texts of George Bushotter (1864-1892), the first Sioux ethnographer; and the Santee texts recorded by Presbyterian missionaries Gideon and Samuel Pond, brothers from Connecticut.
In 1938-39, Deloria was one of a small group of researchers commissioned to do a socioeconomic study on the Navajo Reservation for the Bureau of Indian Affairs; it was funded by the Phelps Stokes Fund. They published their report, entitled The Navajo Indian Problem. This project opened the door for Deloria to receive more speaking engagements, as well as funding to support her continued important work on native languages. In 1940, she and her sister Susan went to Pembroke, North Carolina to conduct some research among the self-identified Lumbee of Robeson County. The project was supported by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the federal Farm Security Administration.
Since the late 19th century, these mixed-race people, free before the Civil War as free people of color had been recognized as an Indian tribe by the state of North Carolina, which allowed them to have their own schools, rather than requiring them to send their children to schools with the children of freedmen. They were seeking federal recognition as a Native American tribe. Deloria believed she could make an important contribution to their effort for recognition by studying their distinctive culture and what remained of an Indian language. In her study, she conducted interviews with a range of people in the group, including women about their use of plants, food, medicine, and animal names. She came very close to completing a dictionary of what may have been their original language before they adopted English.
She also assembled a successful pageant with, for and about the Robeson County Indians in 1940 that depicted their origin account. At that time they claimed to be descended from English colonists of the Lost Colony of the Outer Banks region in North Carolina and Croatan Indians. A scheduled 1941 performance was cancelled when Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese.
Deloria received grants for her research from Columbia University, the American Philosophical Society, the Bollingen Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Doris Duke Foundation, from 1929-1960s. She was compiling a Lakota dictionary at the time of her death. Her extensive data has proven invaluable to researchers since that time.*
Kin 229: Red Galactic Moon
I harmonize in order to purify
I seal the process of universal water
With the galactic tone of integrity
I am guided by the power of space.
We are the hinge of the Absolute in its self-remembrance.*
*Star Traveler's 13 Moon Almanac of Synchronicity, Galactic Research Institute, Law of Time Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2016-2017..
The Sacred Tzolk'in
Svadhistana Chakra (Kali Plasma)