Dance Hall of the Dead

by Tony Hillerman

Start Free Trial

What commonalities do the Golden Fleece, Zuni, Navajo, and Anglo Americans share in "Dance Hall of the Dead"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

All of these groups represent the basic human desire to be part of some belief system. They all want to belong to something. Reynolds wants to be accepted for his beliefs by the important people in the anthropological academic community. Isaacs wants the same thing as Reynolds, but for different reasons. He needs to be respected so he can replace his "poor white trash" upbringing in Tennessee. Bowlegs never felt a part of the Navajo beliefs because his dysfunctional family never taught him about it, so he's seeking to find his beliefs with the Zuni people. The Golden Fleece commune members have created their own "miniculture" on Navajo land since they didn't want to be a part of, or didn't feel they were accepted by, the mainstream culture of white America. The importance of the religious beliefs of the Zunis is emphasized throughout the novel.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial