Date of Award

Spring 2010

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Advisor

Dr. Sharla Hutchison

Abstract

Native American healing focuses on curing all aspects (physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually) of a sick individual. Spiritual healing is unique to Native American cultures, often requiring unexpected healing techniques. Those who are spiritually ill are disconnected from their community and the world around them because of various obstacles that have thrown them off balance. Various ways exist to help heal the spiritual needs of a person; however, the most popular ways is through oral storytelling. Oral storytelling, a tradition passed down by hundreds of generations in Native American culture, is used to remind sick individuals where they come from, offer a supportive community to listen, and provide an opportunity to participate within their culture by sharing their stories with others. Oral storytelling is made up of several healing components, and this study focuses on ceremonies and trickster humor. Healing ceremonies allow individuals to slowly come back into themselves while letting go of the past and obstacles blocking their connection to the world around them, as demonstrated by Tayo in Leslie Marmon Silko‟s Ceremony. Trickster humor allows individuals to heal through humor and release pent-up anger, removing the barrier blocking healing, demonstrated by Rudy Yellow Shirt in Skins by Adrian Louis. Through these two methods of storytelling, these individuals heal themselves and reconnect with the world around them and their communities.

Rights

Copyright 2010 Theresa Kraisinger

Library Call Number

LD2652 .T5 E5 K73 2010

Comments

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

Share

COinS