The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday

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Where is Rainy Mountain and why does Momaday return there?

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In the prologue, we learn the reason why Momaday returns to Rainy Mountain:

I returned to Rainy Mountain in July. My grandmother had died in the spring, and I wanted to be at her grave. She had lived to be very old and at last infirm.

Momaday also tells us that Rainy Mountain rises out of the plain in Oklahoma, northwest of the Wichita Range. Rainy Mountain represents an old landmark for the Kiowa people, from whom he is descended. Rainy Mountain is described as an inhospitable place with difficult weather. However, Rainy Mountain represents an important link between him, his grandmother, and the Kiowa culture in general.

In fact, although Momaday does not speak Kiowa and has a scarce understanding of his identity, he returns home precisely to honor and explore his Kiowa origins. Most of what he knows of Kiowa culture was passed on to him through his grandmother; she was the one who told him about the history of the Kiowas and their legends. 

Momaday's journey is a pilgrimage of sorts,...

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