The Way to Rainy Mountain

The Way to Rainy Mountain

by N. Scott Momaday

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First published in paperback by UNM Press in 1976, The Way to Rainy Mountain has sold over 200,000 copies.

"The paperback edition of The Way to Rainy Mountain was first published twenty-five years ago. One should not be surprised, I suppose, that it has remained vital, and immediate, for that is the nature of story. And this is particularly true of the oral tradition, which exists in a dimension of timelessness. I was first told these stories by my father when I was a child. I do not know how long they had existed before I heard them. They seem to proceed from a place of origin as old as the earth.

"The stories in The Way to Rainy Mountain are told in three voices. The first voice is the voice of my father, the ancestral voice, and the voice of the Kiowa oral tradition. The second is the voice of historical commentary. And the third is that of personal reminiscence, my own voice. There is a turning and returning of myth, history, and memoir throughout, a narrative wheel that is as sacred as language itself."--from the new Preface

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780826326966
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Publication date: 09/01/1976
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 98
Sales rank: 315,102
File size: 716 KB

About the Author

N. Scott Momaday won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969 for his novel House Made of Dawn. Several of his books are available from UNM Press, including The Way to Rainy Mountain. He lives in Santa Fe.

Table of Contents

The Setting Out15
The Going On43
The Closing In65

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The Way to Rainy Mountain 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Supposed to be about native american heritage. Instead, it is something on psychology
voraciousreader65 More than 1 year ago
Downloaded this so that I could understand what some of my students are reading. Fortunately, it was a free version; unfortunately, it was in French and I couldn't read it :-(.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not momaday's book
Robert Sturgeon More than 1 year ago
Down loaded this book for a summer reading requirement, but it is Auf Deutsch !
Treeseed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Kiowa, known among themselves as Kwuda and also Tepda, were once, along with their allies the Commanche, fierce fighting lords of the southern plains and master horsemen. There are roughly 17,000 of them left and their reservation is in Oklahoma but they are not native to that region having come from the mountains beyond the source of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers. They eventually migrated onto the Great Plains. Like other tribes of the Great Plains they have a rich body of mythos, a spiritual vision of themselves replete with ceremony and sacrifice such as the Sun Dance and they have suffered greatly at the hands of white expansionism and racism. One of the most famous modern sons of the Kiowa is N. Scott Momaday who in addition to writing this book received the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for his book, House Made of Dawn. He is a Professor of English at the University of Arizona. I enjoyed The Way to Rainy Mountain because it took me inside the Kiowa consciousness however briefly. This book communicates its wisdom on an emotional level. It speaks more to the right brain, than the left. It conveys by way of subtleties of perspective rather than facts, although it uses certain carefully selected facts to embellish the artful nuances of the narrative. As a Kiowa, Momaday has the benefit of the inside track of first hand observations and first-person accounts from elderly relatives who lived according to the old traditional ways. Published in 1968, this book was written at a time when it seemed even to Momaday that the Kiowa were defeated, their golden age having ended somewhere around 1833, existing in decline until around 1875 and finally dwindling to the struggles of only around 5,000 survivors. Today's outlook is brighter and young Kiowas are once again taking up the ways of their grandfathers and grandmothers and the traditions are being restored, however, at the time of the writing of this book that was not the case and so the tone of Momaday's writing is conveyed with words in the past tense. It is a looking back, a reflective view but also the tale of personal journey. This is a very short book than can be read in the space of an hour or so. It is illustrated with large black wood-cuts made by Momaday's father, Al Momaday. It is told in chapter form, or in the form of little tales almost in the style of the old oral teaching tales. Each entry is numbered and contains three individual but related parts. The first part is from Momaday's father's voice, from the ancestors' oral tradition. The second part is from a historical perspective. The third part is Momaday's personal feelings, recollections, questions, and observations relating to the first two parts. It tells the Kiowa creation story, illuminates their most important myths, rituals and beliefs and examines the Kiowa spirit. Momaday is a talented and poetic writer with an ability to set tone and to create vivid images that I find most enjoyable. Here is a sample of his evocative style: "In New Mexico the land is made of many colors. When I was a boy I rode out over the red and yellow and purple earth to the west of Jemez Pueblo. My horse was a small red roan, fast and easy-riding. I rode among the dunes, along the bases of mesas and cliffs, into canyons and arroyos. I came to know that country, not in the way a traveler knows the landmarks he sees in the distance, but more truly and intimately, in every season, from a thousand points of view. I know the living motion of a horse and the sound of hooves. I know what it is, on a hot day in August or September, to ride into a bank of cold, fresh rain." This book is small and short but in its brevity it manages to create a mood that transports. It illuminates in minimalist terms a profound, intangible quality of spirit as it is found uniquely among the Kiowa. It manages in a most mysterious way to convey distinction, to illustrate the inner foundation of the outer characteristics of this people and their history. It is
Sean191 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Read this in college 8 years ago... I recall parts were interesting, but I ended up actually writing a term paper against teaching it because I thought it was weak overall. The professor actually agreed with my rationale. I'm afraid I can't remember what that rationale was at the moment, but I should still have a copy of that paper somewhere.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If it was The Way to Rainy Mountain, I wouldn't know! All of the text is in German.
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