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Jenna Shawl

on 1 October 2013

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Transcript of YELLOW WOMAN

Leslie Marmon Silko


A Laguna Pueblo wife and mother
unnamed but referred to as "Yellow Woman"
Can't relate myths and stories of her people to her modern life
The stranger that the narrator goes off with
Lives alone in the mountains
calls the narrator "Yellow Woman" throughout the story
Steals cattle from the Mexicans
In part I of Yellow Woman the narrator goes for a walk by a river, where she encounters, Silva. He tells her that he is a Ka'tsina spirit (mountain spirit)
In part II, takes place at Silva's cabin where the two made love the night before, the narrator awakend and Silva is not around. When he returns he tells her she is going into town with him to sell a calf caracass
In part II, the pair run into a man who knows Silva stole the calf. He advises him to continue riding into town and he'll call the police when they arrive. Silva turns and tells the narrator to go back up the mountain. The narrator hears four gun shots as she is riding and when she gets to the top of the hill, she releases the horse.
In part IV, the narrator has found her way back home, after wondering along the river that brought her to Silva. Her family is just as she left it.
The Legend of the Yellow Woman
Central figure of the Laguna tradition
Ledgend of the Yellow Woman has many diffrent central themes
meeting with powerful spirits
Shak-ak(winter) vs. Miochin(summer)
associacted with the moon, hunting, and water
Yellow Woman
Cultural and Historical Context
Role reverse
"identified with sacred mountains" (Leslie Marmon Silko 128)
Ts'eh's behavior
not direct like Silko
"why you should never do things you know nothing about" (The Hopi Way 17)
The Coyote and The Beaver
Contact, Departure, Recorvery
used by Silko and in other Hopi Indian stories
Contact is always by the water
In recovery main character learns or teaches a lesson
The People of Kawaika
Silko "layers and creates a strong, new Yellow Woman" (Leslie Marmon Silko 127)
language/modern day things
use of present tense
sexual freedom
more free, more aware
no identity
intrigued and attracted by Silva
oral traditions dieing
white men
Silva's danger
confusion she feels in the beginning about identity

Laguna Pueblo Reservation/ tribe
Tribal folktales passed down for generations incorporated in literary work
"Write what you know"
Writes aboout discrimination of Native Americans
1960's and 1970's: revitalization of indigineous cultures
N. Scott Momaday---> influential Native American writer
Considered to be the first Native American woman novelist
MacArthur Foundation Grant (Genius Grant)
Native Writers' Circle of the Americas Lifetime Achievement Award
"Whirlwind Man Steals Yellow Woman"
Paula Gunn Allen
Kochinnenako (Yellow Woman)
Whirldwind Man
Men vs. woman
Versions vary
Laguna Pueblo tribe member (Tayo)
Post traumatic stress disorder- WW2
Conflicts between white and Native American culture
relates to Silko's battle with being modern American and Native American heritage
Ka'tsina Dolls are the traditional spiritual carvings of the Hopi American Indians. There are thought to be between 300-500 different Ka'tsina spirits in the Hopi religion which all have their own meanings.
Hopi Ka'tsina Dolls
Full transcript