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Walking the Path between Worlds
Transcript of Walking the Path between Worlds
By: Lori Arviso Alvord
Rediet Ayele, Alyssa Mayor, Kamryn Cruz, Kelly Siu, Helen Abraha, and Valerie Cheng
"Dartmouth was good for me. Singing with other students melted
some of my historical grief and anger into a larger powerful force,
a force I would take with me into the world.”
To emphasize the individual's role in the community through her use of imagery, organization, as well as definitions
Anyone can still be part of a community anywhere. One can create a community amongst other people who share the same values and beliefs, that although the outside world is much different from their comfort zone, people can still be connected as a community. Within a new community, one can grow and gain a new sense of security and strength.
Refers back to her Navajo community as she talks about Dartmouth community
How physical appearances and cultural values differ from the Navajo community
such as not raising hands in Dartmouth means a sign of ignorance
This method of indirectly stating her position through the story allows her audience to understand where she was coming from and also allow her to gradually progress her ideas
the anecdote also provides commonplace as the author implements cultural and physical shock that the audience experienced before in a new place
States that although the values and appearances are different, she was still able to create her own or become part of a community who shared the same value and beliefs
This method of indirectly stating her position in the end allows her hostile audience to understand her progression of ideas and understand that even though she is not in her comfort zone at home in New Mexico, she was able to gain a "new kind of family and tribe, with new songs that held [them] together."
4 sacred mountains-
Barrier from outside influences- "dangerous step into unknown, unguarded world"
Mountains surround her origins, her qualities/values that allow her to stand out from society
These values are her barrier from considering a new sense of community/tribe
Such beliefs makes her feel alienated, when she can take them and unite with people of the same interests
"...green felt incredibly juicy, lush, beautiful, and threatening"
Infer that she considers her new environment
New, fresh opportunities, yet different values that may threaten her comfort zone
Exposure to such new type of environment allows someone to gain a new sense of home to create a tribe similar to the one she grew up in
The author compared and contrasted the appearances and the values in the culture as a concession in acknowledging that even though there is a difference between the two places, people can still create a community.
Descriptions of her community that she grew up in, where she stayed within her comfort zone, afraid to meet non-Indians
Description of Each Place (contrasted from her tribe to Dartmouth)
Shows how uncomfortable she is with the physical appearance and the cultural
Shows how the community she was used to in the beginning changed the way she does things, such as not raising hands in class as it draws attention to oneself
Where morals/behaviors begin
"...taught survival skills through camping, tracking, and hunting"
"Did they respect their elders, their parents?"
"...never draw attention to ourselves."
Always with you even when you leave
Acceptance & Belonging & "inclusion in something larger"
More than blood
Connected by heart, geography, tradition, likes, dislikes,
Celebrates coming into womanhood
Run for a mile each day for four days toward new sun, toward new life
Gives strength security confidence through menses for the first time
Questions if she would be more confident/able to face "loneliness and alienation"
Leads to quote- "community is the force she took into the new world"
She didn't need the ceremony to feel secure/confident or run towards a new life, that she can still feel secure within her new community
She matured and gained security through the formation of her new tribe/community at Dartmouth
In a way, she indirectly states that people do not need a kinaalda ceremony to become strong and become part of another community or tribe, that people can be individually strong and confident as they find a new community
Compare and Contrast
Reference to Kinaalda Ceremony
When Alvord compares family and tribe, she reflects on how family is a permanent matter and cannot be chosen by a person, while a tribe or community on the other hand can, which is shown when she goes to Dartmouth and creates her own community.
This quote shows that singing with her tribe or community allowed her to feel a sense of belonging, the force that allows her to communicate with the real world.