Nebraska Authors

Bonnie G. Manley

Born 1906-12-14 Nehawka, NE (USA)

Died 1971-11

Manley grew up near Whitney, NE. She attended Chadron State Teachers College and taught in rural schools. In 1934 and again in 1937-8, she taught school on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. She then worked for the Nebraska State Employment Service in Fremont, and served as Dawes County Nebraska Superintendent of Schools from 1966 until her death in 1971.

During her stay on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the 1930s, Manley compiled her Lakota Primer, but despite repeated attempts, could not get it published. In 1936 she was formally adopted by the Sioux, and given the name Waze Wash-te, or Beautiful Leaves. She was still living when the Lakota Primer was published in 1971, the year of her death, as the only line by line English-Lakota text in print. She was able to publish an edition (photocopied) of 500 copies because of an order by the Office of Economic Opportunity. There was a tape recording of the book, made by Pine Ridge Sioux Sam Bearkiller. Her other books were collections of poems.

The Nebraska State Historical Society has a collection of Bonnie G. Royal Berry Manley papers, inclusive dates 1937-1940 with correspondence with Addison Sheldon.


Places Lived

Chadron, NE

Author Of

  • Nonfiction
  • Poetry


Lakota Language; Sioux Indians; Native American Languages; Indian Schools


Chadron State College




Official adoption by Lakota Sioux Tribe.


La Ko Ta Rodeo and Fair and Other Poems. 1939.
Editor, Old Timer's Tales, Vol 1. 1970.
Lakota primer: Sioux Indian translation. 1971. In HR.

We appreciate corrections and additions to our information about authors, but please read the following guidelines and caveats carefully.

  • The Nebraska Authors database is based on publicly available sources. Unless you are the author contacting us in person, it helps us if you cite the source or sources of your information. We cannot include unsourced information in the database.
  • We may be appreciative of information we choose not to include in the publicly available database.
  • To include an image on an author profile, please send jpg attachment to nebraskaauthors@lincoln.ne.gov. A photo-release agreement is required before the image will be published on this site.
  • Because of the way we are staffed, expect corrections or additions to take time, sometimes up to three months.
  • While we initially included some actual links to external URLs in the database, we will in the future no longer provide functioning links. We will instead record the presence of specific external materials in language that we hope will help intelligent users find it themselves. Web rot, in which actual materials remain online but undergo changes in their URLs, is too demanding in terms of staff time for us to hope to keep external links current.

Please copy, fill out the form below, and email it to NebraskaAuthors@lincoln.ne.gov to suggest a change.

Bonnie G. Manley

Do you have corrections for the above information or other information to add?:

(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)