Cultural World Views of Native Americans

Ethnic Studies 110
Spring 2008
SOLIS 110: Tu-Th 11 - 12:20 PM

Ross Frank, Department of Ethnic Studies

Office: SSB 227

Office Hours:
Tuesday 1:00-2:30 PM,
Wednesday 1:00-3:00 PM (or by appointment)

Phone: (858) 534-6646

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Download a PDF version of this Syllabus

Class links:

Written assignment #1 instructions
Checklist for Better Writing

Extra credit opportunities

Discussion 1, Tuesday, 4/22/08

Midterm Exam Study Questions

Description of novels for Essay #2

Written assignment #2 instructions

Discussion 2, Tuesday 5/6/08

Discussion 3, Tuesday, 5/20/08

Final Exam - Take Home, due Tuesday, June 10, 11:00AM — 2:00 PM (at Solís 110 - or by e-mail) .

Useful Web sites for American Indian History and Culture


Course evaluation will be based on a midterm, one written essay, a final exam, and in-class discussions throughout the quarter.  Assignment grades will be distributed:  attendance and participation in discussion and during in-class activities 15%;  first essay 10%;  midterm 15%;  second essay 30%;  and final 30%.


All students must attend all lectures and read the assigned materials in order to complete this course.  You have a responsibility to create an environment conducive to learning during lectures and discussion, and to abide by the UCSD Principles of Community.  Attendance and participation in discussions held throughout the quarter will count for part of your class grade.  These in-class discussions cannot be made up.


A short essay will be due on Thursday, April 10.  Details will be provided in class.   

For the second essay, you will have a choice of reading The Death of Bernadette Left Hand by Ron Querry, Power by Linda Hogan, Watermelon Nights, by Greg Sarris, or Garden in the Dunes, by Leslie Marmon Silko.  A description of the books will be given in class to help you decide, and you should also review the following essay deadlines:

Book Title

The Death of Bernadette Left Hand








Garden in the Dunes




Watermelon Nights




Those who choose Bernadette Left Hand or Power may be able to arrange hand in their essay on a different date.  Please consult with me when you make your book choice.

Note:  In fairness to the other students in the class, I generally do not accept late essays except in extreme and properly documented circumstances.  I am, however, willing to help to resolve difficulties that you might have with the essay or the deadline as long as you speak to me about the matter before the assignment due date.


The following required materials have been ordered for the course and are available at Groundwork.  They have also been placed on reserve in the Geisel Library:

James Wilson.   The Earth Shall Weep : A History of Native America.  New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1999.

Delfina Cuero, and Florence Connolly Shipek.  Delfina Cuero : Her Autobiography, an Account of Her Last Years, and Her Ethnobotanic Contributions. CA: Ballena Press, 1991.

Gilbert L. Wilson.  Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden.  St. Paul:  Minnesota Historical Society;  1987.

Wait for instructions in class before purchasing the items marked with •

•  Ron Querry.  The Death of Bernadette Left Hand. New York: Bantam; 1995.

•  Leslie Marmon Silko. Garden in the Dunes.  New York: Scribner; 1999.

•  Linda Hogan. Power. New York: Norton; 1998.

•  Greg Sarris.  Watermelon Nights. New York: Penguin; 1998.

Ethnic Studies (ES) 110 Reader, available BELOW.


The reading(s) that follow each date should be completed before that class meeting.  Please come to class prepared to discuss the reading material. 

Please Note:  Materials in the Ethnic Studies 110 Reader are all linked to their entries BELOW. All other readings refer to required texts listed above.

Week: _1_ | _2_ | _3_ | _4_ | _5_ | _6_ | _7_ | _8_ | _9_ | _10_

WEEK 1      APRIL 1            Introduction to Cultural World Views of Native Americans

PART I            SOUTHWEST:  Río Grande Valley Pueblos, Hopi and Navajo

                     APRIL 3             Spanish-Pueblo Contact and Cultural Change

Cook-Lynn, Elizabeth. “Why I Can’t Read Wallace Stegner.” ES 110 Reader 

James Wilson.   The Earth Shall Weep.   xv-xxix, 3-40.

Images for lecture

WEEK 2      APRIL 8             The Mythic Pueblo Center

James Wilson.   The Earth Shall Weep.  171-213.

Stirling, Matthew W.  Excerpt from Origin Myth of Acoma and Other Records.  ES 110 Reader 

Spicer, Edward H.  “Spanish-Indian Acculturation in the Southwest.”  ES 110 Reader 

Images for lecture

                     APRIL 10            Myth and Literature in the Pueblos

Cushing, Frank Hamilton.  Selections:  Zuñi Folk Tales.  ES 110 Reader 

Tedlock, Dennis.  Except from Finding the Center:  Narrative Poetry of the Zuni Indians.  ES 110 Reader 


WEEK 3     APRIL 15            Navajo Creation and World View


Zolbrod, Paul G. Excerpt from Diné bahanè:  The Navajo Creation Story.  ES 110 Reader 

Images for lecture

                     APRIL 17             Indigenous Cultural Survival
FILM:  Itam Hakim Hopiit, by Victor Masayesva (Hopi)

Ortiz, Alfonso, “Dynamics of Pueblo Cultural Survival”, in DeMallie, Raymond J., and Alfonso Ortiz. North American Indian anthropology: essays on society and culture. ES 110 Reader 

WEEK 4      APRIL 22            Class Discussion:  Viewing the Pueblo, Hopi, and Navajo Worlds

Bodine, John. “The Taos Blue Lake Ceremony.”  ES 110 Reader 

Ferguson, T. J., Roger Anyon, and Edmund J. Ladd. “Repatriation at the Pueblo of Zuni: Diverse Solutions to Complex Problems” in Mihesuah, Devon A. Repatriation reader: who owns American Indian remains. ES 110 Reader 

            APRIL 24            MIDTERM EXAMINATION

PART II            GREAT LAKES:  Algonkian Peoples and Neighbors

WEEK 5     APRIL 29     French-Algonkian Contact, Algonkian Cultural Change and World View

James Wilson.   The Earth Shall Weep.  43-71.

Wallace, Anthony F. C. “New Religions Among the Delaware Indians, 1600-1900.”  ES 110 Reader 

Hickerson, Harold. “The Feast of the Dead Among the Seventeenth Century Algonkians of the Upper Great Lakes.”  ES 110 Reader 

Images for lecture

                     MAY 1             The Midéwiwin of the Ojibwa as an Adaptive System

James Wilson.   The Earth Shall Weep.  72-131.

Hoffman, W. J. The Mide’wiwin or “Grand Medicine Society” of the Ojibway.  ES 110 Reader 

Michael Angel. Chapter 3, Preserving the Sacred: Historical Perspectives on the Ojibwa Midewiwin.  ES 110 Reader 

Images for lecture

WEEK 6     MAY 6                     Class Discussion:  Explaining White Influence and Culture Change

Martin, Calvin. Part 2 (Chapters 3 and 4), Keepers of the Game:  Indian-Animal Relationships and the Fur Trade.  ES 110 Reader 

Krech, Shepard. Chapter 7 “Beaver”, in The ecological Indian: myth and history    ES 110 Reader 

PART III       GREAT PLAINS:  Plains Indian Cultures

                     MAY 8             Forming a New Cultural Configuration

James Wilson.   The Earth Shall Weep.  247-285.

Walker, James R. Lakota Myth.  ES 110 Reader 

Images for lecture

WEEK 7     MAY 13            Lakota Myth and Meaning:             
Looking for the Lakota World View

DeMallie, Raymond J. “‘These Have No Ears:’  Narrative and the Ethnohistorical Method.”  ES 110 Reader 

Nagy, Imre, “Cheyenne Shields and Their Cosmological Background”.  ES 110 Reader 

Images for lecture

                     MAY 15             The Ghost Dance, Revivalism, and Cultural Change

Mooney, James.  Excerpt from: The Ghost Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890.  ES 110 Reader 

Jahner, Elaine A., “Transitional Narratives and cultural continuity”.  ES 110 Reader 

Walker, James R. Lakota Belief and Ritual.  ES 110 Reader 

FINISH READING Bernadette Left Hand (2nd essay choice #1).

WEEK 8     MAY 20            Class Discussion: Plains Adaptation and Survival

James Wilson.   The Earth Shall Weep.  289-329.

Peters, Virginia Bergman. Women of the earth lodges: tribal life on the plains.  ES 110 Reader 

Wilson, Gilbert L., ed.  Buffalo Bird Women’s Garden.

Black, Elk, and Joseph Epes Brown. The sacred pipe; Black Elk's account of the seven rites of the Oglala Sioux.  ES 110 Reader   3-9; 67-100

Peyer, Bernd C. The Singing Spirit:  Early Short Stories by North American Indians.  ES110 Reader 



                    MAY 22                     Religion in Native American California, the Mission Era, and Cultural Change

James Wilson.   The Earth Shall Weep. 214-246.

Tac, Pablo.  “Indian Life and Customs at Mission San Luis Rey.”  ES 110 Reader 


FINISH READING Power (2nd essay choice #2).  

WEEK 9     MAY 27             Visitor: TBA

Heizer, Robert F.  The Destruction of California Indians.  ES110 Reader.

Delfina Cuero, and Florence Connolly Shipek.  Delfina Cuero : Her Autobiography.

Hinton, Leanne. Flutes of fire : essays on California Indian languages.  ES 110 Reader  20-69

Deborah Dozier. “Prologue” and “Bird Songs”, The Heart Is Fire. ES110 Reader. 

                     MAY 29            Cultural Configuration of Native California     

Bean, Lowell John.  “Power and its Applications in Native California.”   Reader.

Hinton, Leanne. Flutes of fire : essays on California Indian languages.  ES 110 Reader  70-93

Kroeber, Theodora.  The Inland Whale.  ES110 Reader.  Inland Whale, Loon Woman, Dance Mad


FINISH READING Watermelon Nights or Garden of the Dunes(2nd essay choices #3 & 4).


WEEK 10   JUNE 3             FILM:  Harold of Orange by Gerald Vizenor  (Anishinabeg [Ojibwa])

Vizenor, Gerald.  “The Origins of American Indian Instant Coffee.” ES 110 Reader 

Nabokov, Peter. “Discovery:  The Beeah Tribe”  ES 110 Reader 

                     JUNE 5             Open Class Discussion

Gulliford, Andrew. Chapter 5 “Living Tribal Cultures”, in Sacred objects and sacred places : preserving tribal traditions.  ES 110 Reader 

Cook-Lynn, Elizabeth. “America’s Oldest Racism”, in Why I can't read Wallace Stegner and other essays : a tribal voice.  ES 110 Reader 


FINAL EXAM DUE                       Tuesday, June 10, 11:00AM — 2:00 PM (Solís 110 - or by e-mail)


© 2008, Ross Frank