Posted by: Kitty Maxwell | April 29, 2011

WR5:Language and Literature from a Pueblo Indian Perspective: An Analysis

When we read: are we getting the full meaning of the message? For a Pueblo Indian, usually the answer to this question is “no”. For them, reading a message is not the same as having someone right in front of you giving you that message. The Pueblo Indians have a rich oral tradition, where words are accompanied by feelings, gestures, and other elements that make a story more than just a story. It becomes something personal. The spoken word carries more than the written one.

The Pueblo Indians have more than one language. We have the Zuni, the Hopi, and about four or five more. Communication between the different Pueblo tribes isn’t limited by the spoken language. The message can be carried by making one understand what is being said. Imagine a Pueblo story as the creation of a spider web. You start with one thread, and before you know it you have a whole structure in front of you, a thing of beauty if you know how to look.

I actually have to agree with the Pueblo view on written language. For the Pueblo, words carry more meaning if they come from the heart. When you say something it should be yours, not something that comes from a cold mold.  The problem with most writers is that nowadays they forget to carry their feelings in their writings. They only carry words that to some may seem as expressive as that sign at the bus stop, or the “No Smoking” signs in the park. Rigid structures are for engineering, not for writing. One should take that story and make it carry more than just a message, but a part of you as well.



  1. […] The Spiderweb:… […]

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