The path to Rainy Mountain is not a straightforward account of how the Kiowa people evolved, learned, and safeguarded their knowledge. This method is a description of their culture, tastes, and beliefs. It shows how they obtained food, built houses, made weapons, protected themselves from evil spirits, and organized themselves politically.
To reach Rainy Mountain you must first go to the Great Plains. Then you should travel south for a long time until you reach the city of Houston. From there, take the Grand Parkway east until you get to Diboll. Continue driving north on Highway 6 until you reach Fort Worth. Turn right onto Highway 67 and drive all the way to Weatherford. Here you will find the Western Heritage Museum. The path to Rainy Mountain is behind this museum.
You can see evidence of ancient cultures throughout Texas. Some examples are: Teotihuacán in Mexico City; Palo Pinto Canyon in Braunschweig; and Laredo Pecho Archaeological Site on Lower Laguna Madre.
Texas has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Era (about 2 million years ago). Native Americans later moved into Texas from North America's eastern coast following the end of the last ice age around 12,000 years ago. They came by water and used various tools and weapons to make their way through what is now Texas.
The Way to Rainy Mountain is a memoir, although an unusual one. It is a history of the Kiowa people, a love letter to the nature of the plains, and a compilation of N's recollections. The book was begun by Nanny (Kiowa for "old woman") when she was eight years old and continued by her until her death at 54. She told her stories while walking in the fields near her home on the South Plains of Oklahoma.
It is believed that the first publication of The Way to Rainy Mountain was in 1879 by the Indian Rights Association in London. The association was formed by American educators who wanted to promote peace with the Indians. They published several books about Indian culture before moving on to other topics. Today, the book is considered a classic of Native American literature.
Short story? I don't think so. Short stories have defined limits: 30 lines or less. Novellas are usually between 100 and 120 pages long. Memoirs can be as long as you want them to be. The only real limitation is that they must be under 10,000 words.
The Way to Rainy Mountain fits this definition perfectly.
At its heart, The Way to Rainy Mountain seeks to address the author's queries of "Who am I?" and "Where did my people originate from?" He's looking for his forebears, for his own personal history. His grandmother, Aho, was a Kiowa, and she was his main beginning point. She told him about their tribe's great war with the United States, which was fought over oil rights on Indian land. Grandmother also explained that after the war, her people moved away from their traditional homelands in present-day Oklahoma and Texas and settled along the Canadian border, where many still live today.
In addition to this historical information, the author uses the story he tells to explain Indian customs and beliefs. For example, he describes how Indians pray by making gestures toward the four directions and saying words over each part of their body (head, arms, chest, and legs). They believe that everything they need to know about themselves and their world can be found in these prayers.
As for the actual plot of the book, it follows the journey of two boys as they travel west to meet the Cherokee chief at his mountain home. There they will become men under his guidance. During their trip, they meet various characters who help them understand more about themselves and their world. For example, there's a Mexican man who works on a ranch where the boys find gold. When they return home, they tell others about their adventure and everyone believes they have found gold.
What prompted Scott Momaday to pen "The Way to Rainy Mountain"? They made their home in Oklahoma, near Rainy Mountain. The Kiowa were formerly warriors who subsisted mostly on hunting rather than cultivation. A succession of tragedies devastated their tribe, and Momaday authored the book in part to preserve the clan's history.
He began writing "The Way to Rainy Mountain" in 1958 while working as a social worker with the Indian Child Welfare Service. The novel tells the story of a young Kiowa boy named Yellowbird, who is taken away from his family against his will and placed in an English boarding school. There, under the watchful eye of a stern teacher, he is forced to abandon his native language for the English one. When the time comes for him to choose a career, he decides to become a lawyer like the man who has taken charge of his education. However, before he can graduate, war breaks out between the United States and Mexico, and Yellowbird is drafted into the army. He is then sent back to school but is soon after enlisted again when the Kiowa are attacked by white settlers. This time, he is not allowed to leave: Instead, he is given a gun and ordered to kill other Indians. Frightened and alone, he escapes into the desert where he is found by some Mexican peasants who take him in. They name him Juan and raise him as their own son.