Ajeetej Singh Rai Ms. DelGrego Junior English, 3

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Ajeetej Singh Rai

Ms. DelGrego

Junior English, 3

October 5th, 2012


Based on the era, there is a dramatic cultural difference in terms of humanity. Both Indian time eras are surrounded by different societies, resulting in society’s impact on the Indians values of life and death. In the poems of past Indian cultures Indian value life and the creation of life. Indians in the past culture also value death of a human. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part- Time Indian a book about Indians in present day shows the perceptions of an Indian boy ,Junior, about his life and his reservation. The author Sherman Alexie is portraying the book through the eyes of a teen and is showing the impact of society on Junior. Different time eras resulted in different values in there live. Present and past Indian cultures portray their values on life and death differently.

The Past Indians celebrate the creation of life and the process of death in a respectful manner. Past Indians celebrate the process of life as it starts from the beginning. The Past Indians celebrate the making of their world from the beginning, when the earth was first made. The narrator states, “ At first, forever, lost in space, everywhere, the great Manito was./ He made the extended land and the sky./ He made the sun, the moon, and the stars” ( Delaware,24). The Past Delaware Indians acknowledge in their poems that life is shown as importance to them because the forming of the earth was formed by the Manito. The Manito was the maker of their land and the Indians; Manito was celebrated throughout the poem “The Walam Olum”. The Delaware Indians also showed that life was not perfect and there was some evil existing in the world. “But an evil Manito made evil beings only, monsters, / He made the flies, he made the gnats./ All beings were then friendly” ( Delaware,24). The Delaware Indians believed that the life was made by the Manito, but an Evil Manito was made to balance out the good and evil presented in the world. The Delaware Indians celebrated the creation of life by making chants/poems about the Manito who created their life, but the Delaware Indians also acknowledge life is presented as perfect, there is evil in the world. The Past Indians treated death in an equal manner. The Natives from the past treated life as a circle, always restarting, when an orgasm dies its remains let the earth regenerate more organisms. The narrator of “I have killed the Deer” states,

When I die I must give life

To what has nourished me.

The earth receives my body

And gives it to the plants

And to the Caterpillars

To the Birds

And to the coyotes

Each in its own turn so that

` The circle of life is never broken. (Taos Pueblo Indian, 32)

The Taos Pueblo Indians believe life is a circle when an organism dies it helps another organism thrive. The past Indians are celebrating the death of an organism by expressing the circle of life as one organism dies another is helped. As the human in the poem passes away he will be provided nourishment for the plants which will feed the plants and the plants will be fed on, causing life to reoccur and not pass away in the past native cultures.

Present day Indian cultures present life and death in an informal way

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