By Helen Addison Howard
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Extra info for American Indian Poetry (Twayne's United States authors series ; TUSAS 334)
VII Peaceful Papagos The Papago dwelled on the Arizona desert south of what is now Tucson, and they have preserved the old ceremonies and games. During the winter, they lived in the desert hills near a spring; in the summer's "rain-moon," they moved down to the desert floor where they held ceremonies to "pull down the clouds" in order to summon the rain so vital to their life cycle of planting, harvesting, and gathering wild plants. Papago men drank fermented saguaro cactus juice as they sang, and the villagers, women included, danced for two nights to induce precipitation.
Woe! Woe! T h e clear places are deserted. Woe! They are in their graves— They w h o established itWoe! T h e Great League. " Both are her translations from this P a w n e e ritual. In "The Morning Star," 38 repetitions occur in both t h e first and third stanzas, and the second and the fourth stanzas, which I have italicized for clarity: I Oh, Morning Star, for thee we watch! Dimly comes thy light from distant skies; We see thee, then lost art thou. Morning Star, thou bringest life to us. II Oh, Morning Star, thy form we see!
55 40 AMERICAN INDIAN POETRY Miss Barnes also finds that the factors influencing Indian song literature are spiritual quality, observation of nature, imagination, symbolism, and sense of beauty. T h e distinguishing traits of style are monotony, repetition, conciseness, poetic diction, imagery, and musical quality. Among the minor aspects are vigor, onomatopoeia, and parallelism. Barnes's investigations have led her to conclude that the essence of Indian poetry is aspiration, and that its symbolism reveals penetration of thought, effects conciseness, and gives strength and beauty to the aboriginal verse.
American Indian Poetry (Twayne's United States authors series ; TUSAS 334) by Helen Addison Howard