Write up a good first draft of your answers to the following questions, and be ready to turn it in to me. I want a paragraph of at least three or four sentences (more is better) in answer to each, with quotations to back up what you say. We'll also discuss your answers in class Friday and post some of your discussion to the blog.
In the poem “Deer Dancer” at http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15475, Muskogee poet Joy Harjo tells a story of a Native American woman who dances in a seedy bar. Compare and contrast her dancing with the information about traditional dance in “Traditional Navajo Deer Hunting Traditions” by Clifford Marks at www.sanjuan.k12.ut.us/bms/Issue3/NAVAJODeerHuntin.PDF ... if the link doesn't work, copy and paste the following into the address field of your browser:
Answer these questions:
- What does Harjo’s poem tell you about the dispossession of Native American peoples and cultures? What evidence of disposession does she mention? It can either be physical, comparing nature with the barroom, or cultural. Be specific.
In what ways is the "stranger whose tribe we recognized, her family related to deer, if that's who she was," described in traditional Native American terms? In other words, quote any traditional language Harjo uses in describing her. Be specific.
- What hope, if any, does Harjo offer for people who wish to reclaim their traditions? Quote freely. Be specific.