October 11, 2004

Native American Lit.

Coming off The Devil's Dictionary high (or low) and spiraling, head first, into Native American Literature is a welcome relief....

Chapter 11, The Killing of Crazy Horse

The most spiritual statement from this tale was, "My Father is with me, and there is no Great Father between me and the Great Spirit." Perhaps, it was also the most meaningful because it proves the convictions these people had in the Great Spirit. The story also proclaims the connections with nature and the earth through its multiple references to the natural world. My favorite line from this story came from the end of this tale, " It does not matter where his (Crazy Horse's) body lies, for it is grass; but where his spirit is, it will be good to be." This paralled the Christian ashes to ashes, dust to dust. It is comforting to know our creation story, and stories of death, are all intertwined.

It is also interesting to note, in the context of Crazy Horse, the lesson he learned:
"Two incidents during his boyhood helped form his attitude about white people. They occurred about a year apart, and both involved the U.S. Army. In the first, in 1854, a brash young officer underestimated the resolve and fighting ability of Lakota warriors when he insisted that they return a diseased and abandoned cow they had captured. The confrontation set off an encounter that resulted in the deaths of an entire detachment of thirty soldiers. The second incident occurred when the army retaliated about a year later and wiped out most of an unsuspecting Lakota village, killing women and children as well as warriors. Both incidents taught Crazy Horse that white people could be cruel and were not to be trusted. It was a lesson he never forgot."
I wouldn't trust a people who killed women and children either.

It is interesting to note, Crazy Horse signed NO TREATIES....today would we call this a fence sitter? Or a wise man?

"Rejoice with the wife of thy youth . . .
and be thou ravished always
with her love."
Proverbs 5:18b, 19b

"The Creation of the Whites"

Where have I heard a story similar to this?
However, reading it from this view point, makes me think that the Ottaway Indians hold nature in regard to the Great Spirit as well as human kind. Not similar to the way, nature is taken for granted in the majority of our religions. I liked reading this version a little bit better because it gives son background on the natural elements at play in the story.

How the White Race Came to American and Why the Gaiwiico became a Necessity

This was the most compelling line in the story: "Seek him out and you will find him for indeed we think he does live on earth." Even so, his heart was angry but he resolved to seek.
This line shows the resolution of the queen's servant.

The lines about Columbus and the five mysteries mirror the decay that American society has faced/dealt with since the 1400s. The only interesting article I could find about this tribe can be seen here.
I never realized how far back in history they dated; the phrase "fifteenth century" was quite a shocker, to me.

Zuni Creation Story

Genesis of the World

Did this spark the image of the premordial soup model in anyone's mind?

...Of Men and Creatures

The Unripeness and Instability of the Young World
For me, I did not see the Biblical book of Gensis, rather, the book fo Revelation, where the earth is in complete turm oil.

The Flood
The corn clan in this tale got flooded - just as the earth flooded in the Old Testament of the Bible. At first, I could not relate to the significance of corn, until I read this informative article about phases of the moon and harvest.

We are supposed to compare this to Genesis 1: 1-11, but I am wondering, how many other creation stories exsist that we can compare these to? Since the google search is reading over 6 million, and I still have other homework, I would say that this is a pretty open ended topic. To make matter more complex, there are creation stories within tribes when studying Native American Literature.

Maybe our class could limit the focus to one or two tribes and report on those so we could have a more indepth, informed knowledge. Even reading how this relates to the Mayans, is interesting.

There is really something for everyone in Native American Literature.

Posted by KatieAikins at October 11, 2004 8:35 PM

I moved, as you were, by the connection between Native American tales and beliefs have with that of "the white man." Do you think this is basis for the belief that we come from one Creator and that we are all really children of a higher being?

Posted by: Katie Lambert at October 12, 2004 1:35 PM


I agree that the statement "My Father is with me, and there is no Great Father between me and the Great Spirit." Indeed, it connects the Native American with his beliefs and religion. I didn't really understand the text relating it with Genesis, but it's not my religion. Do you have any thoughts about the Genesis readings?


Posted by: NabilaUddin at October 12, 2004 4:54 PM


To be honest, I wasn't sure how it related to Genesis either. However, grouping all the creation stories together from the readings sets up a comparison between Genesis and the Native American stories. I am not sure if the Genesis comparision was only supposed to be compared to the last reading. I don't know. Do these stories connect to your religion?

Posted by: KatieAikins at October 13, 2004 10:03 AM

Katie L -

Hum, good question....the only thing I can really tell you is I believe in God. I accept that other people believe their way. As for this being a basis, I am not sure because what I believe from the Christian doctrine is different from what stories the Native Americans believe. I guess we will only know in death.

Posted by: KatieAikins at October 13, 2004 10:06 AM


Some do connect and some do not connect. My religion is Islam, so it can relate to Christianity up to a point, but certain things are either opposite views or different thinking.


Posted by: NabilaUddin at October 13, 2004 1:42 PM

Maybe some of the information from the following web site might shed some light:

Posted by: george joe at January 28, 2005 3:36 PM