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This chapter, in which Lipsha performs a working of love medicine to reunite his grandparents, addresses the theme of ancestral traditions that are watered down over time. Lipsha wants his grandparents to eat a male and female goose heart so that, like the geese who mate for life, they will repair their marriage and reconcile. But instead of hunting and dressing the geese himself, Lipsha decides to take a short cut and buys frozen goose hearts; it is not even clear if these are two different genders, let alone a mated pair of geese. The medicine goes further awry when Nector chokes on the heart he eats. By not adhering to the specific steps of this form of love medicine, Lipsha believes he failed and feels guilty for his grandfather's accidental death. The theme of traditions being eroded or watered down is here shown to be a way of killing off the tribal legacy, as symbolized by Nector's death via Lipsha's half-hearted efforts.
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