The Way to Rainy Mountain

SKU: 0826304362

N. Scott Momaday
Grade Levels:
Ten, Eleven, Twelve, College, University
Cherokee, Kiowa, Plains
Book Type:
University of New Mexico

Sale price$26.94


The Way to Rainy Mountain is an important work by Pulitzer Prize winning author N. Scott Momaday. First published in 1969, this slim volume explores the personal history, oral tradition, and historical experience of the people known as the Kiowa. Momaday's family heritage includes Cherokee on his mother's side and Kiowa on his father's. The author explains in the introduction that the story is told in three voices. The first voice comes from the rich mythological past of Kiowa legend and was transmitted in the oral tradition by Momaday's father Al. The middle voice represents the historical record of the Kiowa and is often drawn from anthropological texts. The final voice, which unites the threads, is that of the author whose personal memories inform the reader of the cultural identity and imagination of a contemporary Kiowa man. The legends draw on the creation story, the importance of the buffalo, the Sun Dance, the coming of the horse, as well as the tragic consequences of contact. The final entries from this ancestral voice draw the reader closer to the historic period. The middle voice is often a brief ethnological excerpt from the historical record. The contemporary voice of Momaday paints a personal picture of the landscape, important Kiowa figures, and individual reflection on his tribal identity. The text is clearly divided in style and format that guide the reader through the cultural landscape of the Kiowa. Interspersed with the prose and poetry are the simple ink drawings of Al Momaday. This text has enjoyed a long history of literary success. It is often a required text in high school and college composition and literature courses. The text can be read on a number of levels and its sparse text is a rich source for literary themes. Highly recommended for senior high school, college, and university courses in literature, history, Native Studies, and autobiography.

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