"Williams shares incredible stories of vision quests, songs of power, and the healing abilities of Indian Medicine in the follow-up to his much-lauded 1976 title, The Reservation. . . . This enjoyable read will prove both challenging and heartening for those with an open mind."—Publishers Weekly
"Many of the stories give insight into religious beliefs as well as beliefs about ghosts and other spirits. The syncretistic aspect of these stories that blend Christianity with traditional Tuscarora beliefs is fascinating, making the book valuable for those interested in anthropology and religion."—Journal of Anthropological Research
Big Medicine from Six Nations is a series of reminiscences and essays by the late Ted Williams, on the themes of “Medicine” (physical/spiritual/psychic healing). Williams intertwines the lore and lifeways of his Tuscarora upbringing, illustrating the dynamic encounter of tradition and innovation at the heart of contemporary Haudenosaunee culture. At the same time, Williams writes with an irreverence, irony, and good humor unmistakably his own.Colored by Ted’s wry and irreverent wit, Big Medicine from Six Nations amply fulfills the promise of its title. It offers a fascinating view, not only of herbal medicine, but of prayers, omens, feasts, vision quests, sweat lodges, spirits, humor, and the sacred teachings of the Great Law of the Great Peace. But readers will find that there is more to this book, about the “spiritual mechanics” of humankind writ large.
The son of a Turtle Clan sachem chief and respected medicine man, Ted Williams grew up on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation near Niagara Falls, New York, in the 1930s and l940s. He is the author of The Reservation.
Series: The Iroquois and Their Neighbors
6 x 9, 368 pages, 13 black and white illustrations