Green Grass, Powerful Women
White culture misinterpreted, ridiculed and even outlawed native beliefs. Natives, in turn were forced to live according to the absurdities of the white man. In Green Grass Running Water, King portrays these absurdities through four old Indians and a coyote that are trying to fix the world. This task becomes very difficult for them, when the Christian God appears and messed everything up. Now they are confused and the world is in chaos. King shows how illogical and foreign the natives found the Christian religion; especially in it’s views on Women’s inequality.
It all started “in the beginning.” Everything was fine with this [Indian] beginning until that crazy Christian God (or dog) got a hold of the world and mixed everything up.
So, there was a Sky World and in that sky world was a woman. Big woman.
Strong woman. First Woman. First woman falls from the sky world into the water world and decides she better make some land. G O D thinks this is ok, but a garden would be better. First woman makes a garden and lives there with Ahdamn. Nobody knows were Ahdamn came from, but things like that happen, you know. (King, 40)
At first this novice Christian G O D does not realize that there is anything wrong with First Woman being called Strong Woman. Naturally, no (Christian) G O D in their right mind would let a woman have a name with that much power. This new G O D also does not realize the insignificant role that Adam plays or the humiliation that he brings with a name like “Ahdamn”. Aside from his name, Ahdamn is a foolish man. While First Woman is busy finding them something to eat, Ahdamn is naming the animals.
You are a microwave oven, Ahdamn tells the Bear. We got to get you some glasses, says the Bear. You are a telephone book, Ahdamn tells the Cedar Tree. You’re getting closer, says the Cedar Tree. You are a cheeseburger, Ahdamn tells Old Coyote.
Everything is fine and G O D does not think anything is wrong until First Woman comes across that forbidden tree. It has all sorts of goodies such as apples, melons, bananas, hotdogs, fry break, corn, potatoes, pizza, and extra-crispy friend chicken. But G O D does not want anybody eating his food and so his Christian rules are made and women are suppressed.
In this next story G O D has more control over the situation and is not as novice.
Changing Woman falls from the sky directly into Noah’s ark or, as Noah put it, onto a canoe full of animal poop. A little man with a filthy beard jumps out of the poop at the front of the canoe.
Who are you? Says the little man.
I'm Changing Woman, says Changing Woman.
Any relation to Eve? Says the little man. She sinned, you know. That's why I'm
in a canoe full of animals. That's why I'm in a canoe full of poop.
Noah's blaming of Eve for his dilemma comes from the time-honored Christian
belief that women bear primary responsibility...