Monthly Archives: March 2012

Geronimo: The True Story of America’s Most Ferocious Warrior

Author: Geronimo as taken down and edited by S. M. Barrett

Tribal: Apache

Favorite Quote: N/A

Summary: With the permission of the U.S. Government, Geronimo was able to dictate his life story to S. M. Barrett. He tells the tale of his childhood as well as the events that created the hostility against the Mexicans–his wife and daughters were killed while he and the warriors were gone. He led many raids against the Mexicans. Some of these raids were successful and others resulted in the loss of most of the party. While still battling and raiding the Mexicans, the white men were introduced into the mix and he soon became a wanted man, pursued until he finally surrendered for the final time. After surrendering, Geronimo was allowed to attend several events including a world fair and a wild west show.

Analysis: I’ve seen one of the Geronimo movies (the one starring Wes Studi) and I found that some of the events in the movie were different than what Geronimo talked about. I’m not saying that the movie was incorrect. After all, the movie was told from a soldier’s point of view and the book from Geronimo’s so there is bound to be some difference. It’s just a statement. However, the one thing I felt was important was the story behind his hatred for the Mexicans. There was a small difference in the stories, and I felt that his history should have been researched more. Sometimes movies are the way people get information about historical events, so I feel that producers should check their history. But I digress.

I enjoyed reading about Apache customs and looking at the pictures of several famous and obscure Native Americans who were alive at the same time Geronimo was. The one thing that cracked me up about the book was S. M. Barretts’s disclaimers whenever Geronimo said something judgemental about some revered white man: “The criticism of Lieutenant Purington is from Geronimo. The Editor disclaims any responsibility for it, as in all cases where individuals are criticised by the old warrior” (Barrett 2011). Though it is funny to me, it’s sad at the same time that disclaimers like that had to be made back then and still are. All in all, I liked Geronimo (you’ll probably find that I actually have a negative opinion of few books). It is a good book for people to read especially if they only have a one-sided opinion of Geronimo. Yes, he was a ferocious warrior, but he was also a family man. Having lost family, or having family in danger, can turn even the most sedate individual into one who shouldn’t be messed with.

Until next time…

Siedra


The Ancient Child

Author: N. Scott Momaday

Tribe of Author and/or Tribe Featured in Book: Kiowa

Favorite Quote: I don’t really have a favorite quote, but I do like the Kiowa story of the boy who turned into a bear.

Eight children were there at play, seven sisters and their

brother. Suddenly the boy was struck dumb; he trembled and

began to run upon his hands and feet. His fingers became

claws, and his body was covered with fur. Directly there was a

bear where the boy had been. The sisters were terrified; they

ran, and the bear after them. They came to the stump of a

great tree, and the tree spoke to them. It bade them climb

upon it, and as they did so it began to rise into the air. The

bear came to kill them, but they were beyond its reach. It

reared against the trunk and scored the bark all around with its

claw. The seven sisters were borne into the sky, and they

became the stars of the Big Dipper.

Kiowa story of Tsoai

 Summary: Locke Setman, Set, is a well-known painter. He receives word that his grandmother was sick. He never knew this grandmother, but returns to Oklahoma anyway. Upon reaching Oklahoma, he’s informed that she has already died (and might have been dead when they sent the telegram about her sickness). He meets several people there including Grey, a beautiful, but mysterious young Native American woman who feels it is her job to help Set fulfill his destiny as “the bear” that’s in the Kiowa tale.

My Opinion: N. Scott Momaday emplys a style of writing that is similar to that of a storyteller. The titles of his chapters are from key passages and quotes in the chapters–a method I find quite clever and something I may use in my future novels. I think Momoday’s characters were well thought out and avoided the stereotypical Native American. The story of Set loosely reminds me of Sherman Alexie’s “How to Write the Great American Indian Novel.” I’m not saying that is a bad thing, that’s just what came to mind as I reflected on Set and the story he was in. I have to say that Grey is my favorite character. I like her because she has a great imagination and she was writing a book for over half ofThe Ancient Child.

Until next time, keep reading.

-Siedra


This is the beginning…

I’ve always had a fondness for Native American culture, literature, languages, etc, so for my big project in Multicultural Librarianship (LIS 5173) I decided to do a blog. The topic of this blog is Native American Literature that is about tribes here in Oklahoma or by an author associated with an Oklahoman tribe. Some of the books that I discuss will be fiction, others nonfiction, and even one or two books of poetry. I hope you enjoy my blog and find it informative.

If you would like to know more about me, please scroll to the top of the page and click “About.” I’ve put a little bit of information about me. Feel free to leave me comments and let me know what you think  about my blog. I’d like to hear your thoughts on books that I’ve read and reviewed. Also, if you have a particular book that you would like for me to read and review, let me know. I’m always interested in explanding my collection of Native American literature.

~Siedra Caleb