Pretty Shield

Pretty Shield (1856–1944) – Medicine woman of the Apsáalooke (“Children of the Large-Beaked Bird,” often now called Crow) during the 19th-century transition to reservation life. She told her life story to Frank Linderman through an interpreter and using sign language, and he published it as Red Mother (1932), later reprinted as Pretty-Shield: Medicine Woman of the Crows. This includes Pretty Shield’s narration of everyday life, as well as her medicine practice and dream visions, and is considered “easily the feminine equivalent of Neihardt’s Black Elk Speaks.” Her husband, Goes Ahead, was one of the scouts for the U.S. Seventh Cavalry’s assault on the Lakota that culminated in the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Pretty Shield’s granddaughter, Alma Snell, authored a memoir of life with her grandmother, Grandmother’s Grandchild (2000).


Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007


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