Zitkala-Sa: Old Indian Legends(1902)
Zitkala-Sa was born in 1876 on the Yankton Indian Reservation in South Dakota to a Sioux mother and a European-America father who abandoned the family while she was still a child. She was not only a writer but also a political activist, a teacher, a musician and a composer. At age eight she was taken to the Quaker-run White’s Manual Labor Institute in Indiana. She wrote of the deep sadness caused by the missionaries’ attempts to strip away her culture during the “assimilationist” period of relations with the Indians. Preservation of Indian culture would become a continuous theme of her writing and activism.
Zitkala-Sa attended Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and began developing her writing skills as well as her musical ability. Leaving without graduating owing to ill health, she next joined the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston as a violinist. She then taught at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania but clashed with the administration over...
Dakota Indian brave (Library of Congress)View Full Size