You are to address the differences and similarities between the Navajo culture and the dominant non Navajo culture as described in Tony Hillerman’s book(s), Coyote Waits and Sacred Clowns, in the context of the basic cultural topics we’ve been covering all semester: food getting, language, political organization, social organization, justice, associations, economic system, sex, marriage and family and kinship, psychology, religion and arts as well as culture CHANGE! Try to organize something “real” to say. In other words, I want this essay to flow logically from beginning to end with some kind of “thesis” statement continuing to a conclusion. The one topic, which MUST be addressed, is the question of the title of the book. What does “Coyote Waits” mean (what is the meaning behind the symbolism represented in and by Coyote)? Why is it important? Use the two truisms of anthropology as you consider what to write.
Example approach to the paper: Explain and discuss the Navajo culture as described in the novel Coyote Waits. Topics may include food getting, language, political system, social stratification, justice, associations, economics, marriage, kinship and marital residence, sex and culture, religion and magic, psychology and cultural change. Your essay should address and distinguish between the aspects of Navajo culture that are a result of acculturation and diffusion (now referred to as “modern”) from those that are from the “traditional” culture. You may also use the story from Sacred Clowns that I related in class to make your points. Identify the characters in the novel and explain which viewpoint (tradition versus “modern”) they represent. I know this seems very general so here are some “sample” questions you might use as part of your essay. You may choose to address other aspects as long as you use the novel and the anthropological knowledge you have acquired. This is NOT an internet assignment. However, you may, and should use, the film Miss Navajo.
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