In "The Sign of the Beaver," how is Matt's acceptance of the manitou indicative of his growing respect for the Indian culture?

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The manitou was a right of passage for the Indian boys of Attean's tribe. An Indian boy would go out into the wilderness to live, utilizing his survival skills and patiently waiting for his personal spirit to appear.

When Matt first learns of this custom, he does not understand it. Although Matt has become accustomed to many aspects of the tribe’s daily life, a wilderness journey to wait for a spirit perplexes him. In fact, he fears what may happen when Attean finds his manitou and becomes a man. Matt fears this will end their friendship. However, as Matt listens to Attean talk of the importance of finding his manitou and the shame that will result if his personal spirit does not appear, he begins to accept this strange custom just as he has accepted other aspects of Attean’s life.

As Matt thinks each night about his friend alone in the wilderness waiting on his manitou, he hopes that Attean will find it despite the impact it may have on their friendship. To Matt, the importance the manitou holds for Attean, outweighs the risk to their friendship.

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