SARAH WINNEMUCCA: influential women of all time – Early Life and Reign, social and political life, major works and death

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Just2know : There is no knowledge that is not power
Just2know : There is no knowledge that is not power

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injured her right knee when jumping off the parapet in the last scene of La Tosca. By 1915 gangrene had set in, and her leg had to be amputated. Undaunted, the patriotic Bernhardt insisted on visiting the soldiers at the front during World War I while carried about in a litter chair. In 1916 she began her last tour of the United States, and her indomitable spirit sustained her during 18 grueling months on the road. In November 1918 she arrived back in France but soon set out on another European tour, playing parts she could act while seated. New roles were provided for her by the playwrights Louis Verneuil, Maurice Rostand, and Sacha Guitry. She collapsed during the dress rehearsal of the Guitry play Un Sujet de roman (“A Subject for a Novel”) but recovered again sufficiently to take an interest in the Hollywood motion picture La Voyante (“The Clairvoyant”), which was being filmed in her own house in Paris at the time of her death.

In 1920 Bernhardt published a novel, Petite Idole, that is not without interest since the actress-heroine of the story constitutes an idealization of its author’s own career and ambitions. Facts and fiction are difficult to disentangle in her autobiography, Ma Double Vie: mémoires de Sarah Bernhardt (1907; My Double Life: Memoirsof Sarah Bernhardt, also translated as Memories of My Life). Bernhardt’s treatise on acting, L’Art du théâtre (1923; The Art of the Theatre), is revealing in its sections on voice training: the actress had always considered voice as the key to dramatic character.

SARAH WINNEMUCCA

(b. c. 1844, Humboldt Sink, Mex. [now in Nevada, U.S.]—d. Oct. 16, 1891, Monida, Mont., U.S.)

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arah Winnemucca, whose Paiute name is variously given as Thoc-me-tony, Thocmectony, or Tocmectone (“Shell Flower”), was a Native American educator, lecturer,

tribal leader, and writer best known for her book Life Among the Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims (1883). Her writings, valuable for their description of Northern Paiute life and for their insights into the impact of white settlement, are among the few contemporary Native American works.

A granddaughter of Truckee and daughter of Winnemucca, both Northern Paiute chiefs, she lived during part of her childhood in the San Joaquin valley of California, where she learned both Spanish and English. After her return to Nevada she lived for a time with a white family and adopted the name Sarah (sometimes called Sally). In 1860 she briefly attended a convent school in San Jose, Calif., until objections from the parents of white students forced her to leave. During the Paiute War of 1860 and the subsequent increasingly frequent clashes between Native Americans and whites, she suffered the loss of several family members. She attempted the role of peacemaker on a few occasions and from 1868 to 1871 served as an interpreter at Camp McDermitt in northeastern Nevada. In 1872 she accompanied her tribe to a new reser- vation, the Malheur, in southeastern Oregon.

Winnemucca for a time was an interpreter for the res- ervation agent, but the appointment of a new and unsympathetic agent in 1876 ended her service as well as a period of relative quiet on the reservation. On the outbreak of the Bannock War in 1878, she learned that her father and others had been taken hostage and offered to help the army scout the Bannock territory. Covering more than a hundred miles of trail through Idaho and Oregon, Winnemucca located the Bannock camp, spirited her father and many of his companions away, and returned with valuable intelligence for General O.O. Howard. She was scout, aide, and interpreter to Howard during the resulting campaign against the Bannocks.

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