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May I Suggest... 'Washaka: The Bear Dreamer' by Jamie Lee

RAPID CITY, S.D. ñ Little Chief had a dream about a white bear, Mato Ska, that in his dream was tied to a tree and bleeding. He didnít know the meaning of the dream, but knew, as his grandfather told him, he must follow it.

In the Lakota culture a dream is wakan, sacred, and one must follow that which is sacred.

Little Chief, a young Lakota who lived sometime in the mid-19th century, grew up in his familyís village and learned the songs and the ways from his grandfather. At age 12 he rode his horse, Wasaka, into a buffalo herd to kill his first buffalo and move one step closer toward manhood.

This was a dream ñ not that of Little Chief, but of a contemporary Lakota named Leon Hale.

Wasaka in Lakota means ìthe bear dreamer.î Little Chief gave that name to his horse. ìWashaka,î the book title, is the wordís phonetic spelling.

Leon Hale lives with his wife and two children and seven grandchildren in Rapid City, S.D. He was born at Thunder Butte, S.D., on the Cheyenne River Reservation and worked as a carpenter most of his life.

He experienced dreams for a number of years. They were always the same: about a past life, or maybe relatives, maybe he was just chosen. They were dreams about a life that became very vivid to him.

One day he noticed a woman with a notepad in a coffee shop jotting down ideas. He asked if she was a writer. After her affirmative response he sat down and started unraveling his dream.

Thus began the start of ìWashaka,î a book written by Jamie Lee. Lee is a Rapid City-based writer who has a half-dozen books to her name. She spent some seven sessions with Hale, tape recorder running, as he related the dream to her.

The story with Little Chief at the center describes life on the Plains before contact and after. It is a story of journey, adventure, togetherness, achievement, courage and some fun.

Little Chiefís dream of Mato Ska, ìwhite bear,î was only part of the dream. His adventurous spirit led him to where settlers had begun to stake out a place in the Plains and build a home. It was there he saw his new friend and soon-to-be brother, a white boy, beaten and tied, bleeding, to a tree. Little Chief saved the boy from that fate and took him to his village, where the boy was given the name Mato Ska.

His grandfather said the dream was not over.

ìUnci [grandmother] was a small woman with no extra flesh on her body. Her hair had long ago gone white and I had loved her smile for as long as I could remember. She was a gentle spirit and greeted Mato Ska with a warm hug. He seemed instantly absorbed into the sphere of her warmth.

ìHe plopped down beside her as if he might never leave again.î

Lee took license with Haleís dream, adding a character and creating transitions to bring continuity to a story that was based on what may have been convoluted dream sequences.

It is a story that many people, with a vivid imagination and a good bit of knowledge of the history and life of the Lakota, may have written. But this is based on a real dream, a dream that Hale said he believed was supposed to be told.

However this story comes to us, it is enriching, entertaining and quite enlightening as to the changes two cultures were to make upon contact. Two boys ñ or rather, young men ñ changed their families, and each in turn grew.

The romanticized version of the Lakota can be found within the story, but the reader will quickly read past that and become engaged in the telling.

This story is for all ages. Young men of any culture could find something of themselves in this dream; young women might also find their purpose within this dream. Adults will find a story that may affect them emotionally and offer some insight about life on the Plains with a culture about which many people today are hungry to learn more.

A fast read, the book is one that cannot be left on the arm of the chair to be picked up at a later date. Lee keeps the reader engaged throughout; and the final chapters, which will not be revealed here, are heartwarming and fulfilling.

ìWashakaî can be purchased online at Amazon.com and at the publisherís Web site: http://manykites.com.

RAPID CITY, S.D. ñ Little Chief had a dream about a white bear, Mato Ska, that in his dream was tied to a tree and bleeding. He didnít know the meaning of the dream, but knew, as his grandfather told him, he must follow it.In the Lakota culture a dream is wakan, sacred, and one must follow that which is sacred.Little Chief, a young Lakota who lived sometime in the mid-19th century, grew up in his familyís village and learned the songs and the ways from his grandfather. At age 12 he rode his horse, Wasaka, into a buffalo herd to kill his first buffalo and move one step closer toward manhood.This was a dream ñ not that of Little Chief, but of a contemporary Lakota named Leon Hale.Wasaka in Lakota means ìthe bear dreamer.î Little Chief gave that name to his horse. ìWashaka,î the book title, is the wordís phonetic spelling.Leon Hale lives with his wife and two children and seven grandchildren in Rapid City, S.D. He was born at Thunder Butte, S.D., on the Cheyenne River Reservation and worked as a carpenter most of his life.He experienced dreams for a number of years. They were always the same: about a past life, or maybe relatives, maybe he was just chosen. They were dreams about a life that became very vivid to him.One day he noticed a woman with a notepad in a coffee shop jotting down ideas. He asked if she was a writer. After her affirmative response he sat down and started unraveling his dream.Thus began the start of ìWashaka,î a book written by Jamie Lee. Lee is a Rapid City-based writer who has a half-dozen books to her name. She spent some seven sessions with Hale, tape recorder running, as he related the dream to her.The story with Little Chief at the center describes life on the Plains before contact and after. It is a story of journey, adventure, togetherness, achievement, courage and some fun.Little Chiefís dream of Mato Ska, ìwhite bear,î was only part of the dream. His adventurous spirit led him to where settlers had begun to stake out a place in the Plains and build a home. It was there he saw his new friend and soon-to-be brother, a white boy, beaten and tied, bleeding, to a tree. Little Chief saved the boy from that fate and took him to his village, where the boy was given the name Mato Ska.His grandfather said the dream was not over.ìUnci [grandmother] was a small woman with no extra flesh on her body. Her hair had long ago gone white and I had loved her smile for as long as I could remember. She was a gentle spirit and greeted Mato Ska with a warm hug. He seemed instantly absorbed into the sphere of her warmth.ìHe plopped down beside her as if he might never leave again.îLee took license with Haleís dream, adding a character and creating transitions to bring continuity to a story that was based on what may have been convoluted dream sequences. It is a story that many people, with a vivid imagination and a good bit of knowledge of the history and life of the Lakota, may have written. But this is based on a real dream, a dream that Hale said he believed was supposed to be told.However this story comes to us, it is enriching, entertaining and quite enlightening as to the changes two cultures were to make upon contact. Two boys ñ or rather, young men ñ changed their families, and each in turn grew.The romanticized version of the Lakota can be found within the story, but the reader will quickly read past that and become engaged in the telling.This story is for all ages. Young men of any culture could find something of themselves in this dream; young women might also find their purpose within this dream. Adults will find a story that may affect them emotionally and offer some insight about life on the Plains with a culture about which many people today are hungry to learn more.A fast read, the book is one that cannot be left on the arm of the chair to be picked up at a later date. Lee keeps the reader engaged throughout; and the final chapters, which will not be revealed here, are heartwarming and fulfilling.ìWashakaî can be purchased online at Amazon.com and at the publisherís Web site: http://manykites.com.