What does the "way" represent in The Way to Rainy Mountain?

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We can consider Momaday’s use of “the way” to have several different meanings; and yet, they seem to converge into a cohesive one by the end of the book. The Kiowa, his Native American ancestors, once migrated from the Yellowstone valley of the upper Rockies to the Black Hills of North Dakota, and then on to the American Plains and to southwestern Oklahoma, toward a rounded hill called Rainy Mountain. Momaday retraces this journey as a personal pilgrimage – a “way” -- in order to learn more about his people through his own visceral and on-the-ground experience. They made their “way”; now he makes his. He also shares some of the relevant legends that have been passed down through the generations. These stories are a “way” of reminding the people where they came from and what is important to their culture. This book is also a “way” to pay tribute to Aho, the author’s grandmother, who was his last living link to the traditional native days. Merged together, the journeys and the legends and Momaday’s reactions to them combine in order for him to finally find his strong ties to the Kiowas of the past. His way “to” their ways is one that also goes “back.”

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