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  • Today, “Nine years among the Indians” by Herman Lehmann, published on May 21, 2021 by Éditions Séguier.

Alain Raimbault, contributor to the

20 Minutes


reading group

, recommends

Nine Years Among the Indians

by Herman Lehmann, published on May 21, 2021 by Éditions Séguier.

Her favorite quote:

“The men are taking the lead in our cohort.

A chariot driven by Mexicans faces us.

We try to surround them with war cries and shooting.

Most manage to take refuge in a chaparral but we flush them out, kill and scalp a certain number, capture two young girls and a boy, and loot the cart which is full of various goods (tobacco, sugar, powder, cartridges and lead. , clothes) before setting it on fire.


Why this book?

  • Because this book is the direct testimony of a child of



    , kidnapped by an Apache tribe in 1870 in Texas.

    He is 11 years old.

    He will become a real Apache, to the point of forgetting his mother tongue.

    He will continue to participate in raids led by his new family to kill the pale faces that keep invading ancestral territory.

  • Because the reader discovers from the inside the motivations

    and values ​​of different tribes that the author will frequent very closely: the Apaches, the Comanches, the Kiowas at the time of the last and terrible Indian wars (some even use the term of genocide) carried out by the US federal government against Indigenous nations.

  • Because the human experience lived by the author is exceptional.

    She makes the link between the colonizer and his Christian vision of the world and the colonized who revere the Great Spirit, who tries to live in harmony in a world increasingly occupied, upset, destroyed by the waves of white immigrants.

    A world that is collapsing.

The essentials in 2 minutes

The plot.

 Herman Lehmann is kidnapped by an Apache tribe.

He is 10 years old.

He will become a true Apache himself and participate as a warrior in raids against the pale faces in order to steal their horses, their weapons, their blankets, or kill them quite often.

He will also have to flee his tribe ...


 Heman Lehmann;

the Apache chief Carnovist;

the Comanche chief Cotopah;

Comanche leader Quanah Parker;

the author's mother.


 Texas, Mexican border, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arizona.

The time.

 1870 to 1880 mainly.

The author.

 Herman Lehmann was 10 years old when he was kidnapped by the Apaches in Texas.

He will come back much later to live with his mother and siblings.

On his old days, he tells about his life to a journalist friend, who will publish this book with him in 1927.

This book was read with.

 With a keen interest in ethnographic detail and great sadness at the inevitable and violent end of the way of life of Native tribes in the United States.

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