Century Of Dishonor By Charles Alexander Eastman-Old Indian Days

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The Native American culture is one that is apparently full of mystery and symbolism. Their spirituality and beliefs are both amusing and perplexing to outsiders. Native American values go further beyond what we may identify in their cultural artifacts and native dances to a rich and profound love for family, the earth and all living things. Traditions of honor, bravely and fighting for equality also run deep in Native American culture. The genre of Native American literature has the weighty task of telling tales of a spiritual language that even after translation required a deeper understanding of context and symbolism to comprehend. Earlier works in Native American literature required more patience and understanding to fully absorb the author’s…show more content…
He uses language that is not easily understandable to describe his actions “He kindled a small fire a little way off, and burned some cedar berries and sweet-smelling grass. Then he fumigated himself thoroughly to dispel the human atmosphere, so that the spirit might not be offended by his approach” (Eastman, 2008). In contrast, Helen Hunt Jackson who was of the same period, wrote in much clear language that did not have contain the same deep rooted symbolisms as her predecessors. In her book - A Century of Dishonor: A Sketch of the United States Government's Dealings with Some of the Indian Tribes -, Hunt uses very modern and understandable language in her descriptions. She writes “Beautiful and grand, with lofty mountains and rich valleys fragrant with flowers, and forests of magnolia and pine filled with the singing of birds and the melody of streams” (Jackson 1889) to describe the landscape of the Midwest region that was up for contention. Her language and writing style, while still complex, reads like text from a twenty-first century literature

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