Tradition In William Least Heat-Moon's Short Story 'Blue Highways'

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Native American literature exhibits the concept of tradition and ritual standing as barriers to the obliteration of culture and personhood. Practicing rituals was the only way to keep the Native American culture alive since the British came to America. Keeping a culture was hard due to the constant battle between British rituals versus the Native American’s practices. When the British arrived, many Natives lost the ability to practice their heritage resulting in the downfall of family relationships as well as the deterioration of a society. Believing in traditions is shown in William Least Heat-Moon’s short story, “Blue Highways.” Some customs include performing ceremonies and some involve the significance of food such as “the blue variety” (Heat-Moon:105), a symbolic ingredient in Hopi bread which signifies “ what you might call our compass-wherever it goes, we can go” (Heat-Moon: 105). This illustrates that the making of Hopi bread is a tradition to lead their migrations. The bread exhibits that even…show more content…
To showcase how appreciative he was of the Spokane society, Roman Fury wore his “red, yellow, white and blue grass-dance outfit” (Alexie: paragraph 29). The grass-dance outfit is worn during dances and to Roman, wearing the attire made him more confident while taking the test. To prove that he was not ashamed of his customs, Roman states, “I was going to bring my favorite drum group and let them sing a few honors songs” (Alexie: paragraph 32) after his grandmother told him the “little test was culturally biased” (Alexie: paragraph 32). Although Roman wasn’t humiliated of his heritage, he “thought the non-Indians in the room might get a little, as you say, distracted.” (Alexie: paragraph 32). Instead of being embarrassed of his Spokane background, Roman Fury proves that as long as he is appreciative of where he comes from, the society will not be

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