Walks on the Ground

9781496212801: Hardback
Release Date: 1st February 2020

20 photographs, 4 illustrations, 1 appendix, index

Number of Pages: 540

UNP - Nebraska

Walks on the Ground

A Tribal History of the Ponca Nation

Written by
Louis Headman
Foreword by
Sean O'Neill
Walks on the Ground is a record of Ponca elder Louis V. Headman’s personal study of the Southern Ponca people, spanning seven decades. 
Hardback / £74.00
This book can only be pre-ordered within 2 months of the publication date.

Walks on the Ground is a record of Louis V. Headman’s personal study of the Southern Ponca people, spanning seven decades beginning with the historic notation of the Ponca people’s origins in the East. The last of the true Ponca speakers and storytellers entered Indian Territory in 1877 and most lived into the 1940s.

In Ponca heritage the history of individuals is told and passed along in songs of tribal members. Headman acquired information primarily when singing with known ceremonial singers such as Harry Buffalohead, Ed Littlecook, Oliver Littlecook, Eli Warrior, Dr. Sherman Warrior (son of Sylvester Warrior), Roland No Ear, and “Pee-wee” Clark. Headman’s father, Kenneth Headman, shared most of this history and culture with Louis. During winter nights, after putting a large log into the fireplace, Kenneth would begin his storytelling. The other elders in the tribe confirmed Kenneth’s stories and insights and contributed to the history Louis has written about the Ponca.

Walks on the Ground traces changes in the tribe as reflected in educational processes, the influences and effects of the federal government, and the dominant social structure and culture. Headman includes children’s stories and recognizes the contribution made by Ponca soldiers who served during both world wars, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. 


List of Illustrations
Phonetic Key
Chapter 1 Beginnings
Chapter 2 Niobrara
Chapter 3 Trade Agreements, Indian Treaties, and Indian Removal
Chapter 4 Chief Standing Bear
Chapter 5 Indian Territory
Chapter 6 The Selection of Ponca Chiefs
Chapter 7 The Ponca Reservation in Oklahoma
Chapter 8 Ethnography
Chapter 9 The Ponca Give Away
Chapter 10 The Old Ponca Heđúška
Chapter 11 New Hedúškà Dance Paraphernalia
Chapter 12 The Ponca Singers
Chapter 13 Ponca Heđúška Songs
Chapter 14 Family Structure and Kinship System
Chapter 15 Marriage and Property
Chapter 16 Clans of the Ponca
Chapter 17 Ponca Names
Chapter 18 Toys, Games, and Sports
Chapter 19 Arts and Crafts
Chapter 20 The Ponca Native American Church
Chapter 21 The Christian Church in the Ponca Community
Chapter 22 The Spirit World
Chapter 23 The Funeral Rites
Chapter 24 Ancient Ponca Burials and Practices
Chapter 25 Ponca Medicine
Chapter 26 Journey to The School House
Chapter 27 Into The School House
Chapter 28 Warriors of the Ponca
Chapter 29 Political Governance

Louis V. Headman (Ponca elder) (Oklahoma) is the project coordinator of the Ponca Language Grant and pastor of the Church of the Nazarene in Ponca City. He is the author of Dictionary of the Ponca People (Nebraska, 2019). Sean O’Neill is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of Cultural Contact and Linguistic Relativity among the Indians of Northwestern California and the coeditor of The Collected Works of Edward Sapir, Vol. 14: Northwest Coast Linguistics.

“This book is a jewel because it presents an insider’s view drawn from the insights of Ponca elders with whom the author talked during many years while simultaneously bringing outside scholarly assessments into the mix. Specialists on the American Indian, whether anthropologists, archaeologists, sociologists, political scientists, or historians, as well as the general reader, will gain insights from the work.”—Blue Clark, professor of American Indian Studies at Oklahoma City University


Blue Clark

“A welcome model of how to do collaborative ethnography from within a culture and how to synthesize and evaluate information from multiple sources. . . . This volume, in an accessible way, leads the reader toward an understanding of how to see the Ponca as the Ponca see themselves.”—Regna Darnell, Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and First Nations Studies at the University of Western Ontario

Regna Darnell