By Eric Gary Anderson
Culture-to-culture encounters among "natives" and "aliens" have long gone on for hundreds of years within the American Southwest—among American Indian tribes, among American Indians and Euro-Americans, or even, in response to a few, among people and extraterrestrials at Roswell, New Mexico. Drawing on a variety of cultural productions together with novels, motion pictures, work, comedian strips, and historic reports, this groundbreaking booklet explores the Southwest as either a true and a culturally built web site of migration and come upon, within which the very identities of "alien" and "native" shift with every one act of travel.
Eric Anderson pursues his inquiry via an unparalleled diversity of cultural texts. those contain the Roswell spacecraft myths, Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac of the Dead, Wendy Rose's poetry, the outlaw narratives of Billy the child, Apache autobiographies by way of Geronimo and Jason Betzinez, work by means of Georgia O'Keeffe, New West background through Patricia Nelson Limerick, Frank Norris' McTeague, Mary Austin's The Land of Little Rain, Sarah Winnemucca's Life one of the Piutes, Willa Cather's The Professor's House, George Herriman's modernist cartoon Krazy Kat, and A. A. Carr's Navajo-vampire novel Eye Killers.
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Additional info for American Indian Literature and the Southwest: Contexts and Dispositions
A Dene and Inuit myth about caribou also keeps close track of animal migration. As Sean Kane explains, This myth seemed like superstitious knowledge to wildlife biologists sent to study what appeared to be a dramatic decline in the numbers of the Kaminuriak herd in the early seventies. The biologists attributed the decline to overhunting. But the Dene people knew better. Their myth tells of a great hole in the ground into which the caribou periodically disappear. The hole is covered by a caribou skin and two rabbits guard it.
The Navajo do not adapt at the expense of themselves; they should not be regarded simply or strictly as adaptive peoples. Calloway distinguishes between native migration stories, which ‘‘explained how they came to be where they were’’ (135), and the gradual formation of cultural identities that link and root Indians to particular places. In part, Calloway (like various other Euro-American historians and anthropologists) attempts to reconstruct a poetics of tribal life in ‘‘the world of the Indian peoples before the arrival of Columbus,’’ to quote the subtitle to Alvin M.
Streams and rivers were also used as travel routes. These paths served a variety of purposes: Diplomats and messengers covered enormous distances along such paths. People visited friends and relatives for social, economic, and ceremonial purposes. . Travelers frequently met others on the trail, smoked with them, and shared hospitality before continuing on their journeys. (Calloway, 136) pg 25 # 9 Name /T0201/T0201_CH01 10/01/01 06:10AM Plate # 0-Composite 26 American Indian Literature and the Southwest In Writing without Words, a volume on indigenous Mesoamerican cultures, various contributors (particularly Elizabeth Hill Boone and Dana Leibsohn) make clear that Indians have been excellent, imaginative cartographers for a long time.
American Indian Literature and the Southwest: Contexts and Dispositions by Eric Gary Anderson