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Native American Literature


Indian tribes are culturally deprived in some parts of the ... but not all Native people. Can be confused with people native to India. Acceptable to most, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Native American Literature

Native American Literature
Indian Awareness Inventory
  • Since many Indian people live close to nature,
    they tend to be healthier than non-Indians.
  • FALSE. Indians, for example, have the highest
    rate of Tuberculosis of any ethnic group in the
  • 2. Most Indians are proud of being Indian.
  • TRUE.
  • 3. Because of past treaties, Indian people do
    not have to register for the Armed Forces.
  • FALSE. They are American citizens.
  • 4. Indian people have the highest suicide
    rate of any group in the country.
  • TRUE.

Indian Awareness Inventory
  • 5. Twenty percent of Indian home on
    reservations lack basic indoor plumbing.
  • TRUE.
  • 6. Indian tribes are culturally deprived in
    some parts of the country.
  • FALSE. Indians are not deprived of a culture.
    But, the question is, deprived of whose culture?
  • The majority of Indian youth drop out of school
    by the tenth grade.
  • TRUE.
  • 8. Most Indian families have no houses of
    their own.
  • TRUE.

Indian Awareness Inventory
  • 9. President Nixon stated publicly that Native
    Americans are the most deprived and isolates
    group in the US.
  • TRUE. Nixon made this statement in a speech to
    the nation in 1970.
  • 10. The Indian population is less than 1 of the
    total population.
  • TRUE.
  • 11. Over 50 of American Indians are living
    below the poverty line.
  • TRUE.

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Geographical Regions
  • Natural environment provides guidelines for the
    development of North American native cultures.
    Some research workers have identified
    approximately ten geographic regions in which
    unique patterns of culture have developed.

Arctic Subarctic Northeast Southeast Plains Southw
est Great Basin California Plateau Northwest Coast
  • Racial group
  • Ethnic group
  • This term is reserved for minorities and the
    corresponding majorities that are socially set
    apart because of obvious physical differences.
  • This term is used to set apart from others
    because of national origin or distinctive
    cultural patterns, such as language, parenting,
    marriage, etc.

  • An academic term which is perhaps the most
    accurate reference to Indian peoples. Not often
    used by Indian people.
  • A common term, acceptable to most, but not all
    Native people. Can be confused with people
    native to India.
  • Acceptable to most, actually is becoming the
    preferred term for many Indian peoples.
  • Acceptable to most, but not all native people.
    This term, which refers to all of the indigenous
    people of the world, is now frequently used.
  • Indians
  • Native Americans
  • American Indians
  • Indigenous Peoples

  • What do you understand by worldview?
  • That outlook upon the universe that is
    characteristic of a people a worldview differs
    from culture,ethos, mode of thought, and national
    character. It is the picture the members of a
    society have of the properties and characters
    upon their stage of action. Worldview attends
    especially to the way a man in a particular
    society sees himself in relation to all else. It
    is the properties of existence as distinguished
    from and related to the self. It is in short, a
    mans idea of the universe. Robert Redfield

Indicators of worldviews
  • What is the nature of time?
  • Is it oriented toward the past, present, or
  • What is the nature of humankinds relationship to
    the physical world?
  • Does it emphasize mastery over harmony with, or
    subjugation to the environment?
  • What is the nature of activity?
  • Is it becoming (spiritual), or doing
  • What is the nature of human relationships?
  • Are they hierarchical, collective, or
  • What is human nature?
  • Is it good, bad, or neutral?
  • (Levin and Bates 1985)

Native American Worldviews
  • They believe in the interdependence of all
    creations. They believe that all things (living
    and inanimate) are created for a purpose in the
    natural cycle of the world. Interdependence was
    an integral part of traditional life and helped
    maintain the natural balance of the environment.
  • They believe in an ultimate Creator. Some people
    refer to this Creator as the Giver of Breath,
    Grandfather, Great Spirit, All Spirit, or Great

Native American Worldviews
  • Religion for Native Americans is not separated
    from daily existence. It is intertwined into the
    act of life. Art is also integrated into the
    whole of life.
  • Language of Native Americans developed through
    need and function. The words have power and are
    sacred. Words are not spoken for the sake of
    talking, buy to impart a message. Speech
    initiates from the center of the body where the
    heart and breath also abide. Speaking involves an
    audible bond between humans and all creations.

  • Judeo-Christian heritage
  • It has focused on historical events and
    personages as the crux of reality. The human
    condition is understood as more a function of
    ones standing in the sight of God. Human life
    is in relation to commandments and duties.
  • Christians
  • Christians believe that the original human
    condition is one of being out of favor with God
    by virtue of sin.
  • Native American
  • They tend to view reality as primarily spatial
    rather than as historical and life as good unless
    ones balance is disrupted.

Native American Worldviews
  • There is no a Native American worldview.
  • Native American peoples envision life as a
    journey along a path. The path is considered to
    be the way of wisdom, health, and beauty, and its
    ultimate goal is a life that culminates in the
    maturity and fulfillment of character embodied in
    old age.

  • Remember the sky that you were born under,
  • know each of the stars stories.
  • Remember the moon, know who she is.
  • Remember the suns birth at dawn is the
  • strongest point of time. Remember sundown
  • and the giving away to night.
  • Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
  • to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
  • her life, and her mothers, and hers.
  • Remember your father. He is your life, also.
  • Remember the earth whose skin you are
  • red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
  • brown earth, we are earth.

  • Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all
    have their
  • tribes, their families, their histories, too.
    Talk to them,
  • Listen to them. They are alive poems.
  • Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She
    knows the
  • Origin of this universe.
  • Remember you are all people and all people are
  • Remember you are the universe and this universe
    is you.
  • Remember that all is in motion, is rowing, is
  • Remember that language comes from this.
  • Remember the dance language is, that life is.
  • Remember.
  • Joy Harjo (Creek)

  • How is the world depicted in Remember?
  • How do you picture its author?

Joy Harjo
  • Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and an enrolled member of
    the Muskogee Tribe.
  • She is an internationally known poet, performer,
    writer and musician. She has published seven
    books of acclaimed poetry.

Joy Harjo
  • "Sacred space--I call it a place of grace, or
    the place in which we're most human--the place in
    which there's a unity of human-ness with
    wolf-ness, with hummingbird-ness, with Sandia
    Mountain-ness with rain cloud-ness? . . .It's
    that place in which we understand there is no
    separation between worlds. It has everything to
    do with the way we live. The land is responsible
    for the clothes you have on, for my saxophone,
    for the paper that I write these things on, for
    our bodies. It's responsible for everything."

Importance of a Circle
  • You have noticed that everything that an Indian
    does is in a circle, and that is because the
    Power of the World always works in circles, and
    everything tries to be round. In the old days
    when we were a strong and happy people, all our
    power came to us from the sacred hoop of the
    nation and so long as the hoop was unbroken, the
    people flourished. The flowering three was the
    living center of the hoop, and the circle of the
    four quarters nourished it. The east gave peace
    and light, the south gave warmth, the west gave
    rain, and the north with its cold and mighty wind
    gave strength and endurance. This knowledge came
    to us from outer world with our religion.
    Everything the Power of the World does is done in
    a circle.

  • The sky is round, and I have heard that the
    earth is round like a ball, and so are the stars.
    The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds
    make their nests in circles, for theirs is the
    same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and
    goes down again in a circle. The moon does the
    same, and both are round. Even the seasons form
    a great circle in their changing, and always come
    back again to where they were. The life of a man
    is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so
    it is in everything where power moves. Our
    teepees were round like the nests of birds,, and
    there were always set in a circle, the nations
    hoop, a nest of may nests, where the Great Spirit
    meant for us to hatch our children.
  • Black Elk (Neihardt 1973)

  • Harvey, Karen D., Teaching About Native
  • tribal_data/index.asp
  • http//
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