Gertrude Simmons Bonnin

Gertrude Simmons Bonnin

Birth
Pine Ridge, Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota, USA
Death 28 Jan 1938 (aged 61)
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Sec: 2, Site: 4703
Memorial ID 49125460 · View Source
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She was born 22 February 1876 on Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota. Tribal name: Zitkala-Sa ("Red Bird").

Her father was a white man named Felker, about whom little is known. Her mother was Ellen Tate Iyohinwin (She Reaches for the Wind) Simmons, a full-blooded Sioux. Bonnin was Simmons' third child
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A rarely spoken about but incredibly important writer and translator is Zitkála-Šá, otherwise known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin. Being a writer of Yankton Dakota Sioux origin, much of her work dealt with cultural identity, specifically the difference between the mainstream world in which she found herself and her culture which was being constantly stripped away.

Aside writing about her identity, Zitkála-Šá wrote The Sun Dance Opera, the first opera by a Native American and featuring members of the Ute Nation. She passed away at the age of 61 in 1938. Her work has been reissued by the University of Nebraska.

The Bonnins had one son named Ohiya (Winner).


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  • Created by: John C. Anderson
  • Added: 5 Mar 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 49125460
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Gertrude Simmons Bonnin (22 Feb 1876–28 Jan 1938), Find A Grave Memorial no. 49125460, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by John C. Anderson (contributor 47208015) .