Embracing Fry Bread: Confessions of a Wannabe

Embracing Fry Bread: Confessions of a Wannabe

by Roger L. Welsch


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When he was out playing Indian, enacting Hollywood-inspired scenarios, it never occurred to the child Roger Welsch that the little girl sitting next to him in school was Indian. A lifetime of learning later, Welsch’s enthusiasm is undimmed, if somewhat more enlightened. In Embracing Fry Bread Welsch tells the story of his lifelong relationship with Native American culture, which, beginning in earnest with the study of linguistic practices of the Omaha tribe during a college anthropology course, resulted in his becoming an adopted member and kin of both the Omaha and the Pawnee tribes.
With requisite humility and a healthy dose of humor, Welsch describes his long pilgrimage through Native life, from lessons in the vagaries of “Indian time” and the difficulties of reservation life, to the joy of being allowed to participate in special ceremonies and developing a deep and lasting love of fry bread. Navigating another culture is a complicated task, and Welsch shares his mistakes and successes with engaging candor. Through his serendipitous wanderings, he finds that the more he learns about Native culture the more he learns about himself—and about a way of life whose allure offers true insight into indigenous America. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780803225329
Publisher: UNP - Bison Books
Publication date: 12/01/2012
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Roger Welsch is an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the author of more than forty books, including Touching the Fire: Buffalo Dancers, the Sky Bundle, and Other Tales and My Nebraska, both available in Bison Books editions.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 First, a Story 1

2 Introduction 6

3 A Beginning 16

4 Beyond the Handgame 19

5 History, Long and Short 25

6 Who Are We? 28

7 The Call of Curiosity, Keep the Change 30

8 Enter the Wannabes 35

9 What's in a Name 39

10 Who Is "The Indian"? 43

11 Who Is the Wannabe? 47

12 The Contrary Lesson of the Prime Directive 54

13 First Steps 56

14 The Fix Is Out 59

15 Indian Wannabes 63

16 Gottabes 66

17 Becoming New 74

18 How It Goes, How It Went 75

19 The Plot Thickens 78

20 Why? 81

21 Gottabes Again 83

22 The Ways of Foodways 86

23 Carnivores Forever. 92

24 Another World 95

25 The Consequences of Incuriosity 99

26 Symbols and Realities 103

27 Indian Humor 105

28 Names and Naming 114

29 The Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger of 1877 117

30 Names … and Names 119

31 Matters of Faith 121

32 Deduction/Induction 123

33 What Is Indian Religion? 128

34 The Sun Dance 131

35 The Native Church 135

36 Inside Native Religion 142

37 Knowing What We Don't Know 145

38 What History Teaches Us 147

39 The Empty Frontier 157

40 Indians Today 162

41 Indians as Americans 166

42 The Land 173

43 The Real Wonder of It 178

44 Eloquence 180

45 From Presumed Inferiority to Rampant Egalitarianism 184

46 Time 187

47 Property and Gifts 191

48 The Gift of Giving 194

49 The Fabric of Sharing 197

50 The Spirit of Giving 200

51 Squaring the Circle 205

52 So, How Different Are We? 213

53 What We See 218

54 Indians and Deeper Truths 220

55 Conclusions 227

56 Repositories of Wisdom 233

57 What's in It for Indians? 240

58 So You Wannabe a Wannabe? 243

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Embracing Fry Bread: Confessions of a Wannabe 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
je917 More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book by a great storyteller. He has a wonderful perspective on the midwest native americans that all of us can understand. I think the best chapter was when he described indian humour. It was great. You need to read this book.