The Autobiography Essay

786 words - 4 pages

ANTH 232
Hsin-Yi Tsai

In the tradition of Native American culture, there is no custom of written records of personal life or tribal history. Even though they have written language, the major way to record history is by oral storytelling. Those stories focus more about creation time, tribal and family history rather than individual life. Recording autobiography from different Native American tribes is a convention way for anthropologists to preserve the Indian traditions, which gradually decline and lost after Native American contact with Western culture. Moreover, the autobiographies of Native American individuals also fulfill the public curiosity about their culture. ...view middle of the document...

The reason might be that she considers her and other tribal members are a unity. Even some events does not physical related to her, the events still affect her life. Not only in the autobiography of Pretty-Shield, Two-Leggins, Geronimo, Chona…etc. but also includes their tribal cosmology, stories of their friends, relatives. Furthermore, in the autobiography of Chona, Cheyenne woman, and Arapaho woman, sometimes they do not share everything they know because they strictly follow the tribal rules that the stories might involves other tribal members. The stories those narrators share largely focus more about what happened rather them what they feel, or think about that particular events. The narrators also do not tell those stories in chronological order since Native American does not consider time as linear progress.
There are several reasons that the stories collectors need to revise the original stories they are collecting. Those autobiographies are fundamentally for the American white readers and are not for the Native Americans, so the collectors have to edit their materials to readable status before the publisher publishes. The revised version of the autobiographies helps the readers understand the events in chronological order, and the collectors also assist to interpret and reasoning the perspective or traditional practice the readers may not understand. In some case, the narrators reveal more information or personal feeling than usual because the collectors are not the...

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