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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 465

Indigo and Sister Salt are members of the Sand Lizard Tribe. They're attacked during a ritual and many people are killed. Their mother escapes, and they're raised by their grandmother. Leslie Marmon Silko writes:

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Sister Salt remembers everything. The morning the soldiers and the Indian police came to arrest the Messiah, Grandma Fleet told Sister Salt to run. Run! Run get your little sister! You girls go back to the old gardens! Sister Salt was big and strong. She carried Indigo piggyback whenever her little sister got tired. Indigo doesn't remember much about that morning except for the shouts and screams.

Indigo spends the summer with the Palmers, a white couple who travel extensively. She's caught between the world she lives in and the world she comes from. She's unable to reconcile the different sides of herself for a great deal of the novel. Indigo feels a great deal of grief over her inability to return to Needles to be with her family. Marmon Silko writes:

Clackety-clack! Clackety-clack! You left home, now you'll never get back. Clackety-clack! Never get back, never get back, get back, get back, the rails sang; even when Indigo put her fingers in her ears she heard the song. She cried until the tears made a wet spot on the pillow. Hattie sat on the edge of her berth and patted Indigo's back.

Indigo sobbed with disappointment in herself; Grandma Fleet would have been so disappointed too, because she always managed to escape the first time she tried. Now that she missed her chance at Needles, the train was speeding her farther and farther away from Mama and Sister Salt. Hattie was a nice person, and her husband was OK; Hattie meant well, but she did not understand.

As they...

(The entire section contains 465 words.)

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