A moving, thoughtful, beautifully illustrated look at the lives of men and women who helped shape the history of the Lakota people and the American West
Lakota Portraits weaves together vignettes of Lakotas, including both prominent and ordinary individuals, to tell the story of the Lakota people. It covers the sweep of Lakota history from earliest years, focusing on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Examining the question of who the Lakota people are, Joseph Agonito explores the days of nomadic freedom on the Great Plains, Lakota culture and religion, internal struggles, the coming of European settlers, conflicts generated by waves of miners and immigrants, clashes with white authorities, war with American soldiers, the loss of freedom, the countless challenges encountered in transitioning to the reservation, and life on and off the reservations.
While numerous books tell the history of the Lakota people, Lakota Portraits tells their story through the colorful lives and experiences of various notable individuals who span that history. Each vignette tells a piece of the narrative—both grand and commonplace stories of men and women. Together, these stories paint a picture of a courageous, vibrant people, full of life and love for the Lakota nation and their homeland.
Unlike other books on the Lakota, Lakota Portraits spends considerable time on the reservation years, well into the twentieth century, and the characters who helped shape the difficult and painful adjustments the Lakota people made to life on and off the agencies.
Joseph Agonito, PhD, is the coauthor of Buffalo Calf Woman, which won the 2006 Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Western Novel, and the author of The Building of an American Catholic Church. He is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker.