Searching for Sacred Ground:
The Journey of Chief Lawrence Hart, Mennonite; The C. Henry Smith Series Volume 7
This book grows out of a white Mennonite woman’s driving curiosity to know the story of nationally known Cheyenne Peace Chief Lawrence Hart. Hinz-Penner’s interest is sparked by hearing Chief Hart speak of the destined intersection of his own Cheyenne people on the plains of Oklahoma with Hinz-Penner’s ancestors—the Mennonites called in 1880 to set up schools to educate the Cheyenne people on their Oklahoma reservation.
Building on Hart’s image of the axis mundi— that connector between heaven and earth seen in both the lodge pole of the Cheyenne Sun Dance and the Christian cross—this book invites the reader to accompany the author on a journey back into time. She traces the heritage and life story of a Cheyenne chief from the pivotal Battle on the Washita in 1868 near present-day Cheyenne, Oklahoma, when Custer’s Seventh Cavalry attacked Chief Black Kettle’s village and broke the backbone of Cheyenne leadership and autonomy.
Chief Lawrence Hart’s grandfather was born three years after the massacre on the Washita to survivors Afraid of Beavers and Walking Woman. This grandfather would raise his grandson Lawrence to know Cheyenne ways and select him as his successor to become a principal peace chief to the Cheyennes. Meanwhile the author’s people, Mennonites and her blood relatives, intertwine with Hart’s people by arriving in Oklahoma to begin schools on the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservation and to settle the Oklahoma plains.
“Hinz-Penner seeks to preserve this extraordinary life story in the way Hart preserves the stories, language, deeds, ways of doing justice, and even bones of his ancestors—by giving them attention and honor in his own life.”—John Sheriff, Bethel College Interim President and E. E. Leisy Professor of English
|Publisher||Cascadia Publishing House|
|Call ID||NF 289.7 Hi|
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