Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


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.


Dr. Sharla Hutchison

Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type



© 2010 Theresa Kraisinger


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