Post-colonial Literature for Children EDU32PLC Week 9 - Lecture 16 Rebuilding the Post-colonial world © La Trobe University, David Beagley 2005 References Anderson, CC. (1997) Born to the “Troubles”: the Northern Ireland conflict in the books of Joan Lingard and Catherine Sefton. The Lion and the Unicorn. [online] 21(3): 387-401. Available: Project Muse http://www.nativeweb.org/ Search keywords: Metis, Cree, Dene, “First nations” http://www.native-languages.org/cree.htm http://www.native-languages.org/metis.htm Includes many links on culture and history Getting deeper • Much of the representation in picture books is informative and explanatory • Emphasis on the immediate impact of images and impressions; ideas are proposed • Novels allow a deeper judgemental process to be built and directed • More authorial voice, more sequential and consequential action, more gradual development and discovery of clues and puzzle pieces, more expression of complex issues and ideas, more opportunities for using literary devices In our studies … The picture books emphasize immediate elements: • Cultural markers • Personal memories • Direct impressions • Comparisons of these The novels develop: • Complexities of character • Options for choice by those characters • Consequences • Ambiguities and uncertainties Bone Dance and The Beat of the Drum Similarities: • Stories based on loss, hurt and rejection • Fractured families • Public identity and expectations • Acceptance of cultural heritage - belonging • Heritage conflict the product of colonial experience – the characters must rebuild their place in the postcolonial world • The past must be recognized, accepted and then left if the future is to be created. Bone Dance and The Beat of the Drum Differences: • Settings – rural c/w urban – Rural – Indigenous, naturalistic, spiritual – Urban – European, industrialised, mechanistic • Love and grieving c/w hate and revenge • Internal resolution c/w public declaration • Embrace the past c/w reject the past Bone Dance - Scaffolding Metis • Canadian people of mixed Native and European ancestry – 100,000 • Cultural tradition based on a premise of First Nation ancestry or adoption into that tradition • European origins in French trappers and woodsmen from 1600s onwards – couriers des bois, winterers • Recognized as a distinct cultural group within the First Nations, and in Canadian Constitution • Centred in western “frontier” states, particularly Manitoba Bone Dance - Scaffolding Cree • Canada’s largest native group – 500,000 • Name is a French corruption of Cree term for “first people” - the Cree refer to themselves as Ayisiniwok, meaning “true men”, or Iyiniwok, Eenou, Iynu, or Eeyou, meaning simply “the people” • Majority of Metis are of Cree origin and are generally regarded as Cree brethren Dene • Also known as Chippewa, Ojibwe • Numerous in USA and Southern Canada – 200,000 Bone Dance - Scaffolding • Lonny LaFreniere – French name – Metis background through mother. Aware of background, moves between the cultures readily • Alexandra Sinclair – Assimilated into European culture, only distant connection to Cree and Dene culture through maternal grandfather • Does the heritage of each hold the key to their personal resolutions, or is it simply a vehicle to get them to the end of their grieving Bone Dance – Burial Mounds • Date from the Middle Woodland period (c.300 BC – 900 AD) • Were a communal cemetery, rather than a special tomb for an individual • Could be built and used over many years • Were a focal point for ceremonies and communal identity • Even enemies were included and respected Bone Dance – Issues • Does the heritage of each hold the key to their personal resolutions, or is it simply a vehicle to get them to the end of their grieving? • Both Lonny and Alex are haunted by spirits and by he death of a parent - is Brooks suggesting that Aboriginals have insights into spirituality that Europeans do not? – Raven man – Spirits out of the mound • Where does anyone belong? Is it a specific place, or with a specific person, or can we choose?