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ERIC Number: EJ784292
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
Elucidating Abstract Concepts and Complexity in Louise Erdrich's "Love Medicine" through Metaphors of Quilts and Quilt Making
Weagel, Deborah
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v31 n4 p79-95 2007
Quilts have become a part of American Indian culture, and they are mentioned and even highlighted in certain works of contemporary Native American literature. Certain questions can be posed in regard to the inclusion of quilt references in contemporary American Indian novels. Do the quilts and the making of quilts have some type of metaphorical function in the texts? Is it possible for more complex concepts to be articulated and understood better through a tangible, concrete household item such as a quilt? How might a patchwork textile such as a quilt, which is essentially a non-Native art enthusiastically embraced by Native peoples, function as a mediator between white and indigenous cultures? Can the concept of a quilt help the reader better understand the novel's structure? In this article, the author addresses such questions by focusing on the novel "Love Medicine" [Louise Erdrich, New York: HarperPerennial, 1993], and demonstrates that the quilts in the narrative can be incorporated into metaphors that help elucidate more abstract ideas, such as wholeness. She also shows how the notion of a patchwork quilt, with its often-disparate parts, can illuminate the concept of a mixed blood and further clarify the novel's structure and complexity. She begins the article by presenting a brief history of quilt making among Native peoples in North America. (Contains 3 figures and 54 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North America; North Dakota