Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 204
Landscape is an important element of Silko's poem, and the specific landscape of the New Mexico mountains is a fundamental part of the tribal lives of the pueblo Indians. Research the natural environment of such New Mexico peoples as the Taos, Jemez, and Laguna pueblos. What is the land like? What natural resources did the people use to survive? What animals did they use, and which did they fear?
The wolf is an animal that figures in much of Native American writing, both contemporary and traditional. Research the importance of the wolf as a metaphorical, mythical, and actual figure in the literatures of the Indians of North America. How does the wolfs role differ in the literatures of peoples from different areas? You might want to look at such tribes and groups as the Sioux, the Iroquois and Algonquins, the Indians of the northwest coast, and the pueblo peoples of the Southwest.
Do some research on Native American literature, especially the oral literature of traditional storytelling and chants. What purposes do these stories and chants serve? What forms do they take? What are some recurring characters and figures in these stories? How do the stories differ from tribe to tribe and region to region?
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