This quotation comes from the Introduction of The Way to Rainy Mountain. Here, we are introduced not only to the author’s grandmother, Aho, but also to her native people, the Kiowa. The text describes the tribal migration from Montana to Oklahoma as the Kiowa moved southeast across the Plains. Along the way, they acquired a new culture and a new religion.
Since they were heading east, theirs was a literal and geographic “journey toward the dawn,” because the sun rises in the East. The movement also marked a new beginning for the Kiowa, so it was a figurative “dawning” for their people overall. Key to this transformation was their adoption of Tai-me, the Sun Dance doll, and the rituals surrounding the performance of the Sun Dance. The journey was therefore even more symbolic, as the Kiowa moved toward both the sun and the Sun Dance.
Five paragraphs later,...
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