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William K. Powers was adopted in boyhood by a Sioux chief and has spent thirty-five summers on the Pine Ridge, South Dakota, reservation. In an essay, he traces the origins of Yuwipi to Crazy Horse's spiritual mentor, the medicine man Horn Chips. Powers is the author of Oglala Religion (1977), also published by the University of Nebraska Press.
"... Powers achievement is significant and subtle: he preserves the most important words of a dying culture and makes a disguised, aching plea for its continuance."-Village Voice Village Voice "Yuwipi is the present-day Oglala Sioux version of an ancient and widespread ritual in which a shaman is bound and, in the darkness, calls spirits to come and free him and to communicate with his audience. The author, who has a long and intimate acquaintance with the Oglala, shows how this ritual is related to two other old institutions, the vision quest and the sweat lodge. He does so through a vivid account of how the shaman Plenty Wolf guided an anguished young man to a vision, cured the boy's father, and gathered communal support for them through these ceremonies."-Choice Choice