Author (Your Name)

Darren DeMonsi, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. English Dept.


Pat Onion


This paper focuses on the poetry of Simon Ortiz and the unique Native American relationship he has with his poetry and his Acoma oral tradition. First, my study will start by explaining his particularly indigenous approach to language and linguistics, and how this shapes his poems and our interpretations of them. Secondly, I will proide a brief historical perspective on the Acomas to illustrate the specific tribal history Ortiz writes from. The third and fourth sections will show how Ortiz celebrates and sustains the continuity of Acoma culture and oral tradition through the use of traditional personas and structures: respectively, the traditional Pueblo trickster, Coyote, and the structure and ideas of the Acoma rain ceremony. The final section will show how Ortiz celebrates the power and vitality of the Acomas by drawing together the traditional and contemporary into a coherent whole. Simon Ortiz (Acoma, b. 1941) is the author of three major volumes of poetry: Going for the Rain (1976), A Good Journey (1977), and From Sand Creek (1981).


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Native American, Acoma, oral tradition