The Influence of Indian tradition in “House Made of Dawn” by N. Scott Momaday
Ivana Nakić Lučić

House Made of Dawn is based on Momaday's first-hand knowledge of the way of life in the place Jemez Pueblo. The author writes about the world he knows very well himself, in the American way, giving credibility to the understanding that the novel is a sincere confession of an American Indian, but not an exclusively onesided viewpoint. We can also find in the novel a distinguishing feature making Indian moral and spiritual vision different from European or American, and that is, a deep identity rootedness with the sense of responsibility towards natural surroundings and tradition from which a wider community obtains energy. Indian principles are founded on the belief that human life is reflected in nature and vice-versa. At the same time, the separation of man from nature, land causes diseases-spiritual diseases, alienation and uncertainty, the impossibility of integration into other communities. Separating Indians from nature is expressed not only in their incapability of making economic and social progress; they are also incapable of making spiritual peace that is crucial for Indians as it results from their unity with the land and the spirit of the land. The relationship between an individual's life and the life of the land represents an intimate and interminable reciprocity – the land is reflected in people living with it.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rah.v4n1a11