Native American Literature

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Native American Literature

By | September 2011
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Over the years, literature has proved to play an immense role in shaping culture, as been demonstrated throughout Native American history. The poetry composed by the Native Americans goes beyond making a likable rhyme or pleasant metaphor and crosses over into describing their struggles as well as what gratifies them. This is why we can learn so much today about the Native American culture through the poems they have written.

Firstly, I was exposed to a great deal of information that was incredibly astonishing. For example, “Song Dreaming” is the act of receiving songs in dreams from people who have died. These songs were used in rituals to heal the sick and prevent death. Also, the abundance of rituals in the Native American’s culture was shocking. Some of the main rituals are for hunting, farming, healing, and the passing to different stages in life. All of the rituals are asking for something from the creator. Lastly, it was amazing to see how they stressed the balance of life. They believe that balance is expressed in the alternation and repetition of parallel figures. This concept is often used in their poetry such as: dawn and evening light, clouds and showers, or plants and pollen.

While reading this article, it also struck me how different the Native American culture was from mine. The main difference I saw is in our relationships with nature. The two cultures view nature in a totally separate way. The Native Americans actually talk to the earth in order to get what they want. My culture sees nature as an inanimate item that is pretty to look at. Native Americans have a particular closeness with nature that doesn’t exist in my culture. Native Americans partake in a ritual with nature that is designed to assure a successful hunt by inducing the animal to sacrifice itself to the hunter. Following the ceremony, the hunters will go out and try to find dinner. On the contrary, all I have to do is go to the grocery store and pick up some hamburgers. The...

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