The Native Hagiography

Betty Booth Donohue

in Bradford's Indian Book

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037370
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813042336 | DOI:
The Native Hagiography

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This chapter clarifies certain aspects of Native life that a reader must understand in order to grasp the literary theories which follow: In an American Indian world, there is no distinction between religion, literature, science, technology, and other aspects of Native daily life. War is for gene-poor enhancement and stories are for healing and intellectual/moral development. All are interrelated aspects of Native life. The tribal leaders interacting with the Plymoutheans were medicine men or poets, not errand runners or savages. The chapter discusses biographical details of five historical persons who became archetypes for later literary characters: Tokamahamon, Tisquantum, Hobomok, Hobomok's wife, and Wituwamat. Tokamahamon represents the vanishing Indian; Wituwamat is the savage Indian; Tisquantum and Hobomok are the helpful Indians; while Hobomok's wife becomes the wise old Native woman who follows her conscience despite male interference.

Keywords: Hobomok; Hobomok's wife; Tisquantum; Tokamahamon; savage Indian; vanishing Indian; wise old woman; Wituwamat

Chapter.  5936 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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