Ahem. Well, I got your attention with that title, didn't I? ;-)
Much of my past week was spent doing one final edit of Sandi Rog's Walks Alone. In this truly excellent historical romance, heroine Anna gets kidnapped by a band of Cheyenne and taken to their village in the Rockies. There, she learns so many interesting things about the tribe's culture.
I've long been intrigued by the Native Americans (American Indians? Which is The Way to Say It these days?) and know a good bit about some of the different tribes. I'd never studied the Cheyenne though and found some of the details Sandi brought to life to be truly fascinating.
Especially some of their traditions that are remarkably similar to Old Testament instructions, like how one is to treat a woman in her monthly time. The parallels to the Law is striking, not only in that they're considered unclean for those days, but also in the ritual surrounding cleansing from it.
I was also super-interested to learn that in a Cheyenne marriage, there is no consummation until ten days after the wedding ceremony--who knew?? Loved learning that sort of detail! Ranked right up there with learning that there are those in the tribe who keep a pictorial record book of the tribe's history--basically a picture book denoting wins and losses in battle, great hunts, and the other defining moments of a tribe's history.
Cool, eh? And you can rest assured that Sandi got it all right, because it's been read and approved by a Cheyenne chief, which is yet another coolness-factor in its favor. =)