Native American Literature English 3 “The Sun Still Rises in the Same Sky: Native American Literature” by Joseph Bruchac p.15-16 Article about Native American literature Living oral tradition – Passed down from generation to generation – Much literature went undiscovered for years – At least 350 Native American languages Never treated with the same respect as European literature – Not recognized for its value until late 1800’s “The Sun Still Rises in the Same Sky: Native American Literature” Stories teach moral lessons and practical information about the natural world Animals and humans are used as characters – Often in the same story Powerful metaphors used in literature – Words themselves can be endowed with special powers Indians are tenacious – They have persisted to honor their own customs – Sun Dance is an example of this World view is not a progress line but an endless circle – Changing seasons – Cycles of birth, death, and rebirth – Ceremonies repeated yearly “The Sun Still Rises in the Same Sky: Native American Literature” What is the meaning of the title? – Reread the last paragraph on p. 16 and decide. The Sun Still Rises in the Same Sky: Native American Literature by Joseph Bruchac According to Bruchac, what is one important thing that Native American literature has in common with European classics? Consider what Bruchac says about the authors whom he names. What have these writers done for Native American literature? Make the Connection – Quickwrite Myths, which are almost always connected with religious rituals, explain the world the people live in and their traditions. Take some notes on myths you are familiar with. – What do they explain to people? – What comfort might they offer? St. Nicholas, Blackbeard, Johnny Appleseed, How a Rainbow was formed, Big Foot Literary Focus - Archetypes An archetype is an old imaginative pattern that has appeared in literature throughout the ages. Archetypes can be plots, characters, or images. An archetype appears across cultures. Explanation of Archetypes PP “The Sky Tree” p. 20 Huron piece of literature Creation myth – The beginning of the earth – How people, and land came to be The Earth Diviner Myth – – – – Common among Native American cultures Earth is covered by water An animal dives down in to the water and brings up soil Many Native Americans call North America Turtle Island Symbolism: What does the rooting of the tree represent? “The Sky Tree” Archetype – The Tree Symbolism – Rooting of Tree “The Earth Only” p. 21 Teton Sioux Poem Composed by Used-as-a-Shield Translated in 1918 Archetype – Wise old man Profound philosophical truth – The earth endures, but people (& all living things) do not. a poem that celebrates the permanence of the natural world and the wisdom of those who recognize the truth. “Coyote Finishes His Work” p. 21 Nez Perce tale Retold by Barry Lopez Creation myth – Explains creation of the Indians – Explains the creation of Indian culture Archetypes – Coyote is the archetypal trickster – Earth-woman – Old Man “Coyote Finishes His Work” Archetype: The trickster often takes the form of an animal. What traits of Coyote help him to be a trickster? Where does Old Man Above send Coyote? “Coyote Finishes His Work” Coyote plays tricks on Indians. Coyote helps the Indians – Rids the earth of evil spirits – Teaches important skills Old Man tells Coyote his work is done, and he sends Coyote to a resting place. The Old Man leaves, too. One day, Coyote and the Old Man will return. Meanwhile, the Old Man will send messages by the spirits of those with near death experiences. Indians are awaiting the return of Coyote. “Coyote Finishes His Work” Old Man Above sent “Coyote” to create inhabitants of the world. – Coyote made “Indians” and spread around world Liked to play tricks and often got in trouble Old Man Above came down and told Coyote his work was done. Told the “Indians” that Coyote and he would return when the world needed change Until then, they would live in the world of good/evil, trickery/fun, beautiful/ugly that Coyote had developed “Coyote Finishes His Work” The return of Old Man and Coyote – Coyote will return first. – Earth will require a change. – Old Man will bring spirits of the dead with him. – There will be no more “other side camp.” – All people will live together. – Earthmother will be restored. Review of Myths Myths and Coyote Review Create Your Own Myth Short Answers in Notebook When did Western scholars begin to realize that Native Americans had an oral literature? In “The Sky Tree,” which animals make a place where Aataentsic can land? According to “The Earth Only,” which people speak the truth?