Mary Austin's The Basket Maker

415 Words2 Pages
In Mary Austin’s short story, “The Basket Maker,” Austin gives very specific points and characteristics of nature and the Paiute Indian Tribe. According to Austin’s short story, to be a Paiute Indian, one must have geographical knowledge. It is important to know the land and what type of animals and plants are available. Austin’s narrator in the story provides a very detailed account of what the land looks like: “One must know the land it is lived in...midway of the grove runs a burrowing, dull river, nearly a hundred miles from where it cuts the lava flats of the north…” (316). Paiutes must also know the procession of the year and how to count time and seasons, which is a relatively easier process from this time period. Paiutes also have a rather optimistic attitude. When the government forces Paiutes to move onto the Northern Reservation, they carry on with their normal routines, “Yet you hear them laughing at the hour when they draw in to the…show more content…
She must be independent and know how to stand firm for what she believes, “…such a countenance as should make men serve without desiring her… and you could not move her, no, not if you had all the earth to give…” (“Legacy”). In addition, a woman should be smart, skillful, and be willing to make sacrifices for others. The two categories overlap in many ways. For instance, “women must use wit to win sustenance from the raw material of life without intervention” (319). This shows that Paiute women must be able to defend for themselves in creative ways. Another example is when women would cut their long hair, during the famine, in order to make snares for the flocks. This shows exactly how Paiute women would sacrifice something valuable in order to help others. The quote, “A man must have a woman, but a woman who has a child will do very well” (316) shows that all women have the ultimate desire to love, nurture, and provide for someone besides

    More about Mary Austin's The Basket Maker

      Open Document