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Chief Luther Standing Bear

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      does anyone know of any information about associations between Joseph Campbell and Chief Luther Standing Bear ?

      Thank You


      No connection between the two to my knowledge. I would think somewhere at OPUS Archives and Research Center there must be a list of the volumes in Campbell’s personal library, so it might be possible for you to inquire as to whether Luther Standing Bear’s My People the Sioux was on his bookshelf.

      Interesting that his career with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show was cut short by a train accident in 1903, the year before Campbell was born (Joe traced his love of Indian culture back to a performance of Buffalo Bill’s show at Madison Square Gardens in 1910, I believe, when he was six years old). I wouldn’t be surprised if Standing Bear appeared in a few of the silent westerns Joe saw in his youth, but if Campbell knew who he was, I suspect that would be because of his activism and writings in later years.



        Thank you

        Loved going to The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus At the Garden as “a six years’ darling of a pigmy size“ !!!! I can still smell the animals and popcorn  … Lord those three Rings were Amazing …


        What an amazing experience, Robert! I only went to small, local circuses passing through town, but nothing on the order of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey – and in Madison Square Gardens! Hurrah for the six year old you!



          Yes fond memories of youth are great ! Now that I’m older it’s lots of fun to imbue them with literary and mythic allusion . The “six year pigmy“ was a nod to Wordsworth’s Ode . I hope Lord and Rings is obvious. I do like Tolkien . The Circus and it’s three rings for me also triggers memories of reading I’ve done on the structure of Genesis week in the Bible . First three Days 1 2 3 three spheres (rings) are constructed . Second three days 4 5 6 corresponding inhabitants are created for those spheres . Water – fish , land – plants animals (middle earth) , air – birds … this correspondent structure is also found in the iChing two trigram stack … 1-4, 2-5 , 3-6 ….  Lots of fun for free associations and streams of consciousness … I do enjoy the way the pattern recognition capabilities of my mind works .

          The Circus at the Gardens was nice but I think it lost some of the charm of the tent show . The ole Babylon vs the Tabernacle in the Tent dichotomy . Tabernacle vs Temple. Country vs City . Enkidu vs Gilgamesh . Esau vs Jacob . These mythic themes are eternal . The caravan of animals and pitching of the tent of civilization . It is now become mechanized automated . The Crazy Train !!  Give’em Bread and Circus !!! Maximus !!! The show must go on !!!

          🎶”Life is a three ring Circus”🎶

          🎶“So let the side show begin hurry hurry step right on in”🎶

          tiś time for some Magic Blue R&B

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