What are the conflicts between tradition and modern life seen in Sacred Clowns?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are quite a few of these in this novel as there are in any Hillerman novel (and especially those featuring Jim Chee).  They include:

  • The conflict between Chee and Janet Pete with regard to what should be done with Clement Hoski.  Chee wants to be a shaman and thinks that Hoski should be able to try to restore harmony within himself and with the victim's family.  Pete believes more in the judicial system.
  • Chee has a conflict with himself as to whether he wants to be involved with Janet.  Being involved with her would require him to compromise his desire to be a traditional Navajo.  "He thought about the choice he might have to make between Janet Pete and the religion that had always given his life its purpose."