Surviving the War by Singing the Blues: The Contemporary Ethos of American Indian Political Poetry
American Indian Culture & Research Journal, Vol. 10, p. 25, 1986
28 Pages Posted: 9 May 2009
Date Written: 1986
In this paper I hope to explore the ethos of "survival" through song, language and cultural resistance. The first section will focus on world view, both Western and "Indian," and its relation to historical as well as contemporary political and social conflict. I will explore how art becomes the agent of criticism and the exponent of change. Next, I will discuss major themes in contemporary Indian poetry that comprise the Native ethos of cultural resistance and survival. In keeping with the broad artistic fusion of the Grafitti Band's music, I will correlate certain themes in Indian poetry to the spirituals and blues of the black American people. Because I concentrate on a specific form of cultural resistance, artistically expressed primarily through the themes which comprise "the blues," I have structured the poetic selections accordingly.
Keywords: Native American culture, Poetry, Artistic expression
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