American Indian Stories: Native Americans Essay

1291 Words Jul 21st, 2005 6 Pages
In American Indian Stories, University of Nebraska Press Lincoln and London edition, the author, Zitkala-Sa, tries to tell stories that depicted life growing up on a reservation. Her stories showed how Native Americans reacted to the white man's ways of running the land and changing the life of Indians. "Zitkala-Sa was one of the early Indian writers to record tribal legends and tales from oral tradition" (back cover) is a great way to show that the author's stories were based upon actual events in her life as a Dakota Sioux Indian. This essay will describe and analyze Native American life as described by Zitkala-Sa's American Indian Stories, it will relate to Native Americans and their interactions with American societies, it will discuss …show more content…
The son accidentally killed the man and fled back to his father's teepee only to realize that he was too late and that his father had died. He was so conditioned by the white man that he had forgotten his ancestors' ways of survival.
The book suggests that Native Americans were not savages and that they had a normal lifestyle before the Americans came in and changed everything. Their society was based upon helping one another out. It was also based upon mobility. They would have to make homes in such a way that they could just pack up and leave whenever they needed to. The Native Americans had a values based on nature, life and death. The believed that you must respect nature, respect the living and put a special emphasis on the dead. In The Dead Man's Plum Bush the little girl walked by a plum bush that had just blossomed out beautiful plums. When the girl had reached to grab one of the plums her mother had told her not to and explained that "the roots are wrapped around an Indian's skeleton. A brave is buried here. While he lived he was so fond of playing the game of striped plum seeds that, at his death, his set of plum seeds were buried in his hands. From them sprang up this little bush" (32). The fact that the bush was there because of a man's fascination with plum seeds and that no one can enjoy its fruits shows how much respect for the dead is played through the Native Americans' beliefs.

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