The world we used to live in Remembering the powers of the medicine men

Vine Deloria

Book - 2006

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 299.7/Deloria Checked In
Golden, Colo. : Fulcrum Pub c2006.
Physical Description
xxxii, 237 p.
Includes bibliographical references.
Main Author
Vine Deloria (-)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

In his final book, Native American scholar and philosopher Deloria (1933-2005) presents engaging stories describing the exploits and skills of Native American medicine men (and a few women) drawn from historical writings dating from the 17th through the 20th centuries. He perceptively comments on each story from a Native American "insider's" viewpoint as he explains why he believes that the supernatural feats of medicine men express genuine spiritual power. There is no rational explanation for many of the incidents presented, and Deloria does not see a need to look for one, although he does point out similarities in Native American philosophy, Western philosophy based upon the ideas of Plato, and quantum physics. To him, all demonstrate the presence of an all-pervasive Mind of the universe, which skilled medicine men and women have been accessing for eons. Deloria laments the loss of many ancient Native American spiritual traditions and urges contemporary Indians to value traditional spirituality and wisdom. Well researched, lucidly written, and full of passion, this insightful compilation is an outstanding resource on Native American thought. With an extensive bibliography and endnotes; highly recommended for American Indian studies and religion collections in academic and large public libraries.--Elizabeth Salt, Otterbein Coll. Lib., Westerville, OH [Page 78]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In this last book by Deloria (d. 2005), a leading Native American scholar/philosopher seeks a corrective to the erosion of genuine spirituality among today's generation of Native Americans. He introduces collected stories of the powers and rituals of traditional medicine men and women in light of modern science. These tales e.g., of healing, changing the weather, and inter-species communication, were related by Native people and some white observers. The book is not illustrated or indexed. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Deloria looks at medicine men, their powers, and the Earth's relation to the cosmos.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In his final work, the great and beloved Native American scholar Vine Deloria Jr. takes us into the realm of the spiritual and reveals through eyewitness accounts the immense power of medicine men. The World We Used To Live In, a fascinating collection of anecdotes from tribes across the country, explores everything from healing miracles and scared rituals to Navajos who could move the sun. In this compelling work, which draws upon a lifetime of scholarship, Deloria shows us how ancient powers fit into our modern understanding of science and the cosmos, and how future generations may draw strength from the old ways.