K Tag Ceremony A Poem By Luci Tapahonso

1099 words - 4 pages

With this text, the reader becomes aware of how the autochthonous nature of Diné spirituality influences every aspect of their belief system. We see this involvement with nature through several different analytical lenses including sacred narratives, ceremonies and rituals, religious specialists and power. Through sacred narrative ad ceremony and ritual in the novel, we see connection with place and nature during the K-Tag ceremony in the poem entitled “K-Tag Ceremony”. Ceremonies and rituals with ties to nature are also seen in the chapter entitled “Tune Up”. In “Tune Up” we also see the important role of the Medicine Men in Native American spirituality which would be classified under the analytical lens of religious specialists as well as power. Finally, we see the connection with the analytical lens of integration through nature in the poem “The Canyon was Serene”.
In the poem “K-Tag”, we see the use of sacred narrative, or rather, the reference to sacred narrative in the body of the poem. Tapahonso makes references to the Holy Ones or ancestors in the poem. “The Holy Ones named our grandbabies as we presented them to the sun, our father their little arms extended to the south and north…” (Tapahonso 83). It is difficult to pick just one cultural lens to analyze anything in Native American spirituality because if the importance of interconnectedness with the earth and other creatures of the earth. While this poem reflects ceremony, it also reflects the importance of place. In ceremonies, it seems direction plays an important role, especially east, the direction of the rising sun. The child in the K-Tag ceremony being described is facing East and would have to be because its arms are “extended to the south and north” (Tapahonso 83). East is also seen as an important direction because the Holy Ones come from the east every day. Prayers are often said at dawn. So, through this poem we see of both sacred narrative through the reference to The Holy Ones and place through reference to direction.
In the short story “Tune Up” we see the connection between the importance of place in Native American spirituality as well as the importance of religious specialists and power within the culture. It also shows the importance of preparation before ceremony. In this story, Tapahonso and her family seek the help of a Native American Medicine Man to guide them in a cleansing ceremony. The ceremony began in a round house or hooghan. The importance of the round shape of the building could be connected to their beliefs in interconnectedness of nature and that life still carries on after death, never ending. A building with corners has stopping/ ending points whereas the round building does not. We also see the importance of place and direction. Emma and her family sat on the west side of the Hooghan and everyone else sat along the walls around them. Attention to detail in ceremony is seen through the careful steps and prayers the medicine man and even the family...

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