Published on September 30, 2012 by Carol
Author: David Jr. Lewis, Ann T. Jordan
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Called the Mvskoke in their language, the Creek Indians of Oklahoma continue to practice traditional medicine. In Creek Indian Medicine Ways, David Lewis, a full-blood Mvskoke and practicing medicine man, tells about the medicine tradition that has shaped his life. Born into a family of medicine people, he was chosen at birth to carry on the tradition. He shares his memories here about his childhood training and initiation as a medicine man as well as his remembrances about his father and grandmother, who trained him. Lewis reveals part of the sacred story of the origin of plants and he identifies some of the plants he uses in his cures. He also describes several of the ceremonies his teachers taught him, stressing throughout the sacredness and importance of Mvskoke medicine.
Ann T. Jordan, a Euroamerican anthropologist, documents the place of Lewis’s medicine family in the written record. Lewis is the great grandson of Jackson Lewis, who was interviewed in 1910 by anthropologist John Swanton. Jackson Lewis is mentioned numerous times in Swanton’s classic works on Mvskoke medicine and culture, published by the Bureau of American Ethnology in the 1920s. David Lewis is the direct inheritor of his great grandfather’s medicine knowledge.