Gift of Power

The Life and Teachings of a Lakota Medicine Man

Gift of Power

With surprising candor, Archie Fire Lame Deer describes the magic and power of the Native American spirit life. Archie's compelling narrative recaptures his boyhood years under the tutelage of his medicine-man grandfather on a South Dakota farm. We follow him from Catholic school runaway to Army misfit, from bartender to boozer, from Hollywood stuntman to chief rattlesnake catcher of the state of South Dakota. And we exult with him when he comes home to the world of spirit.
  • Bear & Company | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781879181120 | 
  • October 1992

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About the Authors

Chief Archie Fire Lame Deer

A Lakota Sioux holy man and the son of medicine man John Fire Lame Deer, Archie Fire Lame Deer is the author, with Richard Erdoes, of Gift of Power: The Life and Teachings of a Lakota Medicine Man. Archie Fire Lame Deer is a full-blooded Sioux, a medicine man and the son and grandson of medicine men. A lecturer on Sioux religion and culture, he travels around the world teaching the ways of Native American spirituality, often by performing healing ceremonies.

He has been instrumental in bringing Native religion into jails and in reforming laws so that medicine men can go into prisons to conduct ceremonies. He has also been very active in recovery programs for Native Americans who are alcoholics. Archie has joined the ranks of other spiritual leaders, such as the Dalai Lama, in the quest for world peace, while always remaining a traditional Sioux medicine man. He is the kuwa kiyapi, or intercessor, for the yearly Lakota Sundance and is the official representative for the Sacred Buffalo Calf Pipe at Crow Dog Sundance.

After many years of adventure and travel, Archie has returned to his native South Dakota to make his permanent home among the Sioux people with his wife, Sandy, and their three children, John, Josephine, and Sarah. He is bringing up John to be his successor as healer and teacher; already he runs sweats and has "pierced" in the Sundance. Thus, generations of Lame Deers have followed, and will continue to follow, the way of the Lakotas.

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Richard Erdoes

Richard Erdoes is the author of more than 21 books, including Lame Deer: Seeker of Visions, and American Indian Myths and Legends. An Austrian-born historian, ethnographer, and artist, he has contributed to many publications, including the New York Times, Time, Life, Fortune, Smithsonian, and the Saturday Evening Post. He lives in New Mexico.

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