ERIC Number: ED382952
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar-18
Reference Count: N/A
American Indian Literature Appropriate for Secondary and Middle-Level Students.
American Indian literature deserves a more prominent place in the English language arts curriculum. Oral literature of American Indians includes didactic stories, told to maintain tribal mores and value systems; it also includes humorous and entertaining stories, as well as histories of various American Indian peoples. Anthropologists and folklorists have collected and published numerous volumes of American Indian oral literature. The work of Larry Evers and Felipe Molina is an outstanding example of a new approach to anthropology and folklore. They transcribe Yaqui Deer Song texts into written Yaqui and then into English. Their commentaries guide readers and enhance appreciation of the form and meaning of the texts as song-poems. In addition to the well-established American Indian poets such as N. Scott Momaday, James Welch, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Carter Revard, a growing number of younger American Indian poets have received critical attention and acclaim, such as Joy Harjo (Creek), Ray A. Young Bear (Mesquaki). Duane Niatum (Klallum), William Oandasan (Yuki), Wendy Rose (Hopi/Miwok), and Paula Gunn Allen (Laguna/Sioux). Many "as told to" autobiographies of American Indian men and women have enjoyed critical and popular success such as John Lame Deer and Richard Erdoes'"Lame Deer: Seeker of Visions" and Helen Sekaquaptewa and Louise Udall's "Me and Mine." Examples of this literature illustrate how it speaks directly to students; it can spark in students connections and response. (Contains 26 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Oral Literature; Yaqui
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Spring Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (Minneapolis, MN, March 16-18, 1995).