White Indians by Michael Gills declares itself to be creative non-fiction. The creative part gives the author license to be as poetic and spiritual are necessary to communicate to feelings and aspirations of the people who travel across North America to the American Southwest to participate in the Native American Sundance ceremony.
The Sundance ceremony involves discipline, sweat lodges, fasting, and piercings ... the piercing are so brutal and painful that I found it necessary to skip over some of the descriptions. The narrative left no doubt that some participants found the ceremony to be an answer to their great inner need for connection and purpose. However, others -- myself included -- found the process to be brutal and frightening.
The author was a supporter, like a second in a duel, prepared to step in if the primary person could not continue. Thus, as an involved observer, the author brings the reader along for the experience. An intimate view into Native American culture, but not for all and not for me.
I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway on December 10, 2013. I received the book on December 13, 2013.
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4 months ago