Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2011


Great Plains Research Vol. 21, No. 2, 2011


© 2011 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska- Lincoln


In Holy Ground, Healing Water readers are treated to a historical journey through the changing cultural landscapes of the Waconda Lake area, northcentral Kansas. This region provides the setting for discussion of unique and representative Native American and EuroAmerican cultural developments in the Great Plains. Don Blakeslee, anthropologist with Wichita State University, briefly reviews roughly 13,000 years ofNative traditions, based on archaeological investigations in the region, then discusses the Pawnee Trail, early European and Euro-American expeditions, complex Native-Native and Native-Euro-American interactions during the 19th century, sacred and secular perceptions and uses of Waconda Spring, and Lincoln Park, a local example of the many late-19th- to early-20th-century recreational and educational parks that once dotted the nation. Blakeslee has not only uncovered significant themes that defined Waconda, but places them in the context of broader cultural and historical issues.