Native American Heritage

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I have re-read this book in a relatively new edition. It is a mixture of Kiowa myths, family stories, history sketches, and personal experiences. For me it evokes a sense of community unknown in modern U.S. society. It also conveys, however dimly to the modern scientific mind, a deep sense of a peoples' experience of the sacred where that term is entirely outside of modern theology and is steeped in the land and the memory of a people. It one opens ones mind and emotions the book can connect in a powerful way.

However, a modern can never penetrate to the full depth of Kiowa sensibility. This was harshly expressed in an art object in the IAIA in Santa Fe, New Mexico some years ago. The object included the words: "Just because you stick a feather in your hat doen't make you a Indian." of another edition

It seems enough to alert the reader this book exists, in case anybody is tired of consumer infatuation. These 90 page wonders full of meditation and forethought. It has to be his best, meaning simplest, clearest, but it is probably anthropology too. It ought to be read before or after viewing his http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbqzm6... but to take it on its own it is about the alien and the unknown as feet in old age and death, that is to say that even though he calls himself Rock Tree Boy he i...moreIt seems enough to alert the reader this book exists, in case anybody is tired of consumer infatuation. These 90 page wonders full of meditation and forethought. It has to be his best, meaning simplest, clearest, but it is probably anthropology too. It ought to be read before or after viewing his http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbqzm6... but to take it on its own it is about the alien and the unknown as feet in old age and death, that is to say that even though he calls himself Rock Tree Boy he is A Man Without Fantasy.That's the difference between being a bear and wearing a Jordan t-shirt with Hanes underwear. Nobody is Jordaned or Meadow Lark Lemoned from a laying on of their hands, but bear will move you. Dress in any of these masks or be naked as yourself as He Who Wears Only His Name. Either you stand naked in The Name or you hide in a mask.

Groups function as masks to prevent nakedness, as if there were something other than The Name to stand in, but for the human there isn't. It might be the landscape and the racial memory of landscape that "my parents and grandparents knew" (Schubnell, Conversations, 46). "I feel deeply about the landscape and I mean that literally. I think it is important for a person to come to terms with landscape. I think that's important; it is a means to knowing oneself" (45). So it comes down to the meaning of landscape too, but this is intellectualized. The real question is, what is the meaning of wilderness?

Superficial Existence in the Modern World

Much of this is foreign today, Bear, landscape, even ancestry have been substituted with identities of no purpose to examine. The annihilation of the traditional in tribal societies and every assimilated subgroup is a negative. Assimilation is never good, although to say it that bald is offensive. This is also the point in that First Convocation of Indian Scholars (Ed. by Rupert Costo, 1970). In answering Hopi Charles Loloma about how to assume the traditional identity Momaday says, "I think that each of us who realizes that the native traditional values are important has a great obligation to convince the young of that, who may be wavering with alternatives...[of] the dominant society which is destroying the world in which it lives" (9). "It's really up to the older people"(10) to identify "the danger of superficial existence in the modern world" (10). To counter superficial existence he says "they have a primary obligation to tell their children and grandchildren about the traditional world, and try to show them by example and tell them explicitly that there is an option available to them, and that they're damn fools if they don't...
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