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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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5. Masculine Heroes   

16. The Search For Identity

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Diane Glancy - Selected Archive Items

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[4203] Anonymous, Protest Against the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) (1970),
courtesy of the Denver Public Library, Western History Collection.
"To look upon that landscape [Rainy Mountain] in the early morning, with the sun at your back, is to lose the sense of proportion," writes N. Scott Momaday in The Way to Rainy Mountain. "Your imagination comes to life, and this, you think, is where Creation was begun." Along with the expansion and development of contemporary Native American writing in the late 1960s and 1970s, protest movements arose against the discrimination suffered by American Indians.

[4219] Western Photograph Company, Gathering Up the Dead at the Battle Field of Wounded Knee, South Dakota (1891),
courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.
U.S. soldiers, gathering bodies from the battlefield at Wounded Knee, standing in front of a wagon full of dead Sioux. A blizzard delayed the burial of the dead. Eventually, the Sioux were buried in a mass grave, with little effort made to identify the bodies.

[5595] Gales and Seaton's Register, Register of Debates, House of Representatives, 23rd Congress, 2nd Session, Pages 1007 through 1010, Cherokee Memorial (1835),
courtesy of the Library of Congress.
This is a record of the reception of the Memorial of the Cherokee Council by Congress. Despite the eloquence of the petitions and their invocation of the republican ideals of natural rights and independence, the Cherokee people were brutally forced off their ancestral lands in 1838.

[8008] Greg Sarris, Interview: "Native Voices" (2003),
courtesy of American Passages and Annenberg Media.
Greg Sarris, author, professor of English, and Pomo Indian, discusses the trickster figure Coyote.

[8101] Blackfeet, Dress (c. 1890),
courtesy of the Portland Art Museum, gift of Elizabeth Cole Butler.
The Blackfeet of Montana are a Plains Indian confederacy of three politically independent tribes: the Peigan (Poor Robes), Bloods (Kainai or Many Chiefs), and North Blackfeet (Siksika or Blackfoot). Blackfoot author James Welch helped start the Native American Renaissance with works like Winter in the Blood, Fools Crow, and Riding the Earthboy 40. This woman's dress, made of leather, glass beads, and wool cloth, is similar to what women would have worn during the Ghost Dance movement of the 1890s.

[8688] Arch C. Gerlach, editor, Map of Early Indian Tribes, Culture Areas, and Linguistic Stocks, from The National Atlas of the United States, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Geological Survey (1970),
courtesy of the General Libraries, University of Texas at Austin.
The Cherokee originally lived in the south-eastern part of what is now the United States, but after the unsuccessful petitions of the Sandra Cisneros, they were removed to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). Contemporary writer Diane Glancy is of Cherokee descent; her 1996 novel, Pushing the Bear, is about the Trail of Tears, the Cherokees' long, forced march to Indian Territory, during which thousands died.

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