October 12, 2004

Native American Readings

In our readings of Native American Oral literature, I was interested in the depictions and explanations of the white men.

In “The Creation of the Whites” it’s the white skinned people who do what they’re supposed to and don’t eat the apple. The yellow-skinned replicate Adam and Eve’s sin, wake up naked, are punished and told by the creator” “…you shall call upon the people of white skins to give you assistance”. Does this somehow imply that everything that followed after the white men came was a punishment for eating the apple?

In “How the White Race Came to America….” A man from the east, in “queen’s country” meets with a lord who turns out to be the devil. The lord gives him five gifts to share with the “…people across the water of the salt lake…” that create “havoc and misery” so great that even the devil feels bad about it. Interesting, that in this story it is not the white man himself that is blamed but the evil one who the white man believed and listened to. Seems rather charitable.

I loved Katie's "primordial soup" comparison to the creation myth and I agree with it..."steams potent with growth were evolved...green and scums rose upon them..."

I researched Crazy Horse and found similar accounts of essentially the same story we read. He was an admired leader and great warrior. The biography of Crazy Horse mentions that he was caught trying to steal another man’s wife and was forced to give up his leadership role (what is it with charismatic leaders and illicit affairs?). In spite of this fall from grace, people still considered him a leader and this sparked jealousy among his rivals who eventually contributed to his death by U.S. soldiers. I found a bit more information regarding his capture. According to New Perspectives of the West, an online PBS article about Crazy Horse, he left the reservation without permission to bring his sick wife to his parents and General Crook had him arrested. He was then led to a guardhouse and subsequently bayoneted.

Posted by LindaFondrk at October 12, 2004 12:31 PM


I think that Crazy Horse might have been a hero on the battlefielf, but his personal life could have been better, since he had three wives. What do you think?

P.S.In all the text readings, I understand the main point; however for the Genesis readings, what is the main point? I have no clue. What am I suppose to compare it to? It's not my religion, so I am not familar with this text. Any suggestions?


Posted by: NabilaUddin at October 12, 2004 05:03 PM

Well, I think you have to take polygamy in cultural context...Islam's Mohammed had several wives. I don't think high libido necessarily compromises leadership ability or ability to act with integrity in other arenas. Many talented and inherently good men (and women?) are cursed with this distracting problem. The same testosterone that fuels an aggressive warrior (or politician) also fuels sexual aggression. Humans are flawed and there is a downside to everything.

Posted by: LInda Fondrk at October 13, 2004 09:50 AM


You have asked what religion I am and how does it parallel with Christanity. My religion is Islam. Yes, some parts it is similar to Christianity, however there are some parts where it is very different and expressing either opposite views or different thinking. In fact, the top three religions in the world are Christanity, Islam, and Judaism. So, in a way all three have similarities and differences.


Posted by: NabilaUddin at October 13, 2004 01:34 PM


I am glad that you are interested in Islam. This type of humor is more foreign than uncomfortable. In the Islamic Culture, the words describing females in the "Devil's Dictionary", are very rude and not compatiable. In my culture, men are suppose to be head of the household and are taught to respect women. Women are just as important to society as men are. Also, in just about every culture, women are more restricted in doing various activities than men. Men have more freedom than women. In Islam, there isn't any poking fun of the sexes. It basically sets on rules and guidelines for each gender, and are taught to be respectful to each other. I hope this answers your question and if you have any more questions, I'll be happy to answer them for you. :)


Posted by: NabilaUddin at October 14, 2004 11:17 AM

Nabila, I have read that within the Muslim community, the divorce rate is very low. In our western, Judeo-Christian culture the statistics are close to 50% divorce rate. I like the idea of respect between the genders...and for the important roles they each have. Couples I know often speak of feeling unappreciated by each other. The male feel "I'm just a paycheck" the female feels she bears too much of the domestic and childrearing responsiblities as well as being expected to work.
I notice you don't wear a hijab. What lead to this choice and do you cover sometimes? How do you feel about your role as an educated woman in your Muslim culture? In Islam, the roles between men and women are so clear-cut. There is an increased blurriness between the distinctions in gender roles in our western culture. In some ways, I would think it would be a relief to have expectations so clearly defined, but the western part of me likes the freedom of defining these things on my own terms.

Posted by: Linda Fondrk at October 15, 2004 08:25 AM


Yes, It is true that the divorce rates are very low in Islamic religion. Couples try to work things out between them, and it is the very last resort of thinking about divorce. In Islamic religion, people have arranged marriages, and in arranged marriages, the statistics for divorce is very low.

That's correct. I don't wear a hijab. I am raised with liberal values and my family and I are not very strict. The Arabs mostly wear hijab whenever they go in public, and I am not an Arab. My family is Pakistani. The only time I wear a hijab is whenever I go to mosque and pray at home. Then, it is required for all women to wear hijab.It is a religious place where we pray and bring everyone closer to God.

I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to study in the United States and to be well educated. I was born in the United States, but still I am glad to have this facility because it will help create a better future for myself.

It is a relieve to have things defined so easily for each gender because you know what to expect. My having equality between genders (except in some situations) it is better, since one another can share respect and compassion towards one another.


Posted by: NabilaUddin at October 15, 2004 02:05 PM

i would just like to say the marriages in islam are not arranged marriages. it is true mostly in the indian and pakastani culture but not in the muslim religion. i am engaged and i was not forced and it wasnt arranged. i am arabic and the way people become engaged is different in certain cultures so i think its wrong to say that muslims have arranged marriages because they dont it may be practiced in your culture but not my islamic religon i just thought i should clear that up. i think people need to be more open to learning about the different religions because it would help clear up alot of stereo types.

Posted by: Ameera at April 2, 2006 03:12 PM
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