Native American Literature and Native American Community by salazarcannon

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									Native American Literature and Native American Community
Hsinya Huang Oct. 15, 2003

The Last of the Mohicans

James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)

James Cooper‟s Leather-stocking novels
• • • • • • The Pioneers (1823) The Last of the Mohicans (1826) The Prairie (1827 The Pathfinder (1840) The Deerslayer (1841) Michael Mann‟s movie, based both on Cooper‟s novel and Philip Dunne‟s screenplay for the 1936 movie

The Last of the Mohicans: other adaptations
• the play, The Last of the Mohicans: A Tragedy, in Five Acts, published in Sheffield, England in 1842 • the movie, The Last of the Mohicans, made by Frenchman, Maurice Tourneur in 1920 • the 1934 movie with a screenplay by Philip Dunne • the song “Jew, Partisan,” which contains the lines read as “No! We will never be/ „Last of the Mohicans.‟”

The Last of the Mohicans: catastrophe, holocaust, genocide
• Genocidal warfare • Uncountable massacres • Deliberate spread of deadly diseases (smallpox) • The outbreak of epidemics • Calculated destruction of Native cultures

Other Representations of American Indians
• Pocahontas • Lone Ranger‟s faithful and obedient servant Tonto • Dances with Wolves • The Tempest • Moby Dick • Huckleberry Finn: “light out for the Territory ahead of the rest”

Aboriginal Stereotypes

Aboriginal Stereotypes

Aboriginal Stereotypes

原住民書寫與文化認同
• 兩種策略: • 1. 部落主義(再發現)(tribalism): • Arnold Krupat, The Turn to the Native • The Voice in the Margin • 2. 含混主體(在建構)(hybrid/nomadism) • Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture
• Stuart Hall, Cultural Identity and Diaspora

Symbolic Capital
• Myth, ritual, songs, story-telling • Insertion of tribal terms: java, jaja • From liminality to imagined community (Benedict Anderson)

The tribal way
• The divine merges with the mundane • Navajo--Diyin dine‟é—children of the Holy people • Cerokee—cheera tahge—possessors of the divine fire • Eloh’—religion, land, history, law, culture • Religion: medicine, spirituality, the physical world, intellectual capability, emotional strength (Aitken, Two Culture Meets)

A Preface to That the People Might Live: Native American Literatures and Native American Community

by Jace Weaver

• I. Doing theology is a non-Indian enterprise for traditional Native religions are not primarily religions of theology but religions of “ritual observance.”

A. Traditional Native religions are integrated totally into daily activity. As Charles Eastman observed, “Every act of [an Indian‟s] life is, in a very real sense a religious act.” B. Native languages do not have words for “religion” or “theology.”

• C. Traditional religions are “a not-

easily accessible inner reality which is first experienced on the level of tribe, clan and extended family.” There is no practice of Native religions for personal empowerment. They are communal and communitarian.

II. Scope and Contribution
A. This book examines and extends the emerging critical approaches to Native literature offered by Native scholars such as Gerald Vizenor, Louis Owens, Robert Warrior, and others. ~~ Weaver declares that it is “communitism” that makes Native literature a distinguished and valuable resource .

B. Weaver‟s approach is similar to the Dutch/Indonesian writer Rob Nieuwenhuys‟s study of Dutch colonial literature. He defines literature broadly as the total written output of a people. C. Like Nieuwenhuys, Weaver discusses these literatures without regard to quality.

III. Limitation
A. Weaver limits his reading to author and writings from the territory comprised by the United States. 1. He does not discuss Canadian Natives. 2. He has omitted any discussion of important mestizo writers. 3. Native Hawaiian writers have been excluded. 4. Not all American Native writers can be analyzed.

B. As Robert Warrior notes, “we can further humanize ourselves and our works by engaging our particular questions in the context of other Others around the world who face similar situations.

C. Thus, some works of postcolonial theorists and critics are employed, such as Frantz Fanon, Edward said, G. C.

Spivak, and Homi K. Bhabha.

IV. Terminology
A. Central to this study is the concept of communitism. 1. It is related to Vizenor‟s “survivance,” Warrior‟s “intellectual sovereignty,” and Georges Sioui‟s “autohistory.” 2. It is formed by a combination of the words “community and “activism.”

B. Since a Native person‟s primary selfidentification remains that of his/her own tribe, Weaver firstly employs such a designation. 1. Otherwise, Weaver uses the terms “Native American,” “American Indian,” “Indian,” and “Native” more or less interchangeably.

2. White non-Natives are most commonly refereed to as “Euro-Americans,” meaning an American of European decent, akin to “Africa American.” 3. Louis Owens opts for “Euramerican,” a label current among some scholars. 4. Weaver borrows from John Joseph Mathew “Amer-European,” meaning Europeans who happen to live in America.

Questions for Discussion:
“The Last of the Mohicans”
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“The Last of the Mohicans” 這部影片中文譯為 『大地英豪』或『最後的摩希根人』,摩希跟族乃眾 多印地安部落的一支。 這個title有什麼含意? “The Last” 對印地安文化又有什麼影射? 本片結束 時,安卡斯的父親為死去的兒子唸誦了一段祭文,這段祭文與其片名 “The Last of the Mohicans” 又相呼應,這又呈現了西方怎樣的意識型態? (強勢的西方殖民主義?或邊緣的印地安文化?) 在本片一開始,背景敘述如下:Three men, the last of the vanishing people , are on the frontier west of the Hudson River. Are the Indians Vanishing? 這部電影是由美國華納公司製片,而背景是在1757年的英法北美殖民戰爭,也就是片中並沒有介入 美國立場。美國以一個旁觀者的立場來呈現英法之間的殖民戰爭與美洲原住民之間的命運糾葛。 以 西方的拍攝立場出發,印地安人與印地安文化是如何被刻畫?印地安文化又是如何再現 (represent)?這樣的立場你覺得如何?原住民文化的authenticity and reality可以表現出來嗎? 本片中以一支即將面臨滅族的印地安部落摩希根族為主軸,而這個部落僅剩的三個人其生活方式如 何? 他們有什麼傳統的部落儀式? 他們對大自然的態度是如何? 他們如何維持與大自然的關係? 他們有什麼象徵性資 (Symbolic Capital)? 如瓦歷斯 · 諾幹在多重文化的洗滌下,造就其主體的混雜性(hybridity)。本片中的安那達 (Hawkeye)是一個被印地安摩希根人撫養長大的白人,其本身就是一個文化的混雜體。 這樣的 cultural hybridity對於安那達是否造成了文化認同上的困難? 本片中殖民者與原住民的關係是屬於 Fanon 三階段(同化期─ 搗蛋期─ 戰鬥期) 的哪一個階段? 本片對主要的兩個印地安部落──摩希根族與休倫族對比的刻畫,表現明顯在代表摩希根族的安卡 斯、那達耶與代表休倫族的馬瓜。這樣對比的刻畫如何呈現西方對於原住民的刻板印象?你覺得在 這樣對比的刻畫背後又隱藏著怎樣的黑手?

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Questions for Discussion:
Weaver‟s Preface
1. Why is doing theology a non-Indian enterprise? What is Native religion like? What is Weaver‟s view/approach towards Native literature? What kind/form of literature is discussed and values in Weaver‟s definition of literature? What is many non-Native scholars‟ (like Arnold Krupat) views towards the “genuine” Indian literature? Why does Weaver discuss these literatures without regard to quality? Weaver limits his readings to authors and writings from the territory comprised by the United States. Why does Weaver employ some works of postcolonial theorists and critics? What does “communitism” mean? What is its relatedness to other Native writers (Vizenor/ Warrior/ Sioui)? Why is “communitism” significant to Native literature? What are Weaver‟s terms for white non-Natives? Discern the differences between “Euro-Americans” and “Amer-European.”

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