Free Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony Essay Sample

Religion plays a significant role in the centers and functions in the ceremonies in native America. Leslie Marmon Silko was born in nineteen forty eight on March five in the United States of America. She has extensive expertise in writing and belongs to the tribe of Laguna Pueblo. Leslie is one of the main figures in the ruling regime of Kenneth Lincoln, which has enabled her to acquire substantial information of the Native American Renaissance. The MacArthur Foundation recognized her efforts and accorded her a Genius Grant back in the year nineteen eighty one. She also scooped the Native Writers’ Circle achievement for the Americas Native contributions award in the year nineteen ninety four. Religion being one of the oldest in the world was critical in looking of how the natives behaved. This is because religion has been found to influence the characters of people due to beliefs. People have different believes of issues which in turn shape their lifestyle.

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Leslie having been brought up in a society that practiced various rituals, developed a strong desire in writing on ceremonies which were commonly religious in nature. The Pueblo society practiced different rituals or aunts and Joi in the people of Laguna. She claimed that she thoroughly understands Laguna people and their religious practices which were enclosed in mixed breed ancestry. The practices were passed over from generation to generation over years.

Leslie attended a catholic school in a place called Albuquerque where she gained knowledge on religious matters. She proceeded to the University of New Mexico where she attained a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her pursuit for education was evident; she went further and attended a law school before joining the literary career. Her life was faced with many religious figures; this is the principal reason as to why she embarked on writing on the topic of ceremony and the region.

Leslie literally work started back when she was at school. A story on the topic “The man to send rain clouds”, which had some religious aspects; gained approval with a surprise; subsequently; winning the National Endowment Grant for the discovery of Native American humanity “stand up to our stories”. This was the background in the region that went further to be reflected in the ceremony story. Leslie has profound experience in writing stories and poems.

The Ceremony book was published in the year nineteen seventy seven. It has acquired the title of the Native American novel over many years. Many scholars have revised it for materials on native America especially considering the religious aspects. The Ceremony story has gained recognition in colleges and the Universities syllabi, and the book has not received many criticisms. The book by a native author has received assessments due to the intelligence accorded in writing and the book length.

Tayo is the main character in the book. Tayo returned from fighting in the world war two against the Japanese nation, and was a veteran of mixed ancestry. Laguna is a perished region where Tayo retunes. He visits Los Angeles VA hospital due to fatigue associated with the fighting and the shell shock “all we have to fight off illness and death”. The conflict went away with his cousin and the memories haunt Tayo an immense deal. This resulted when of the two soldiers were forced to participate in the Bataan Death back in the year nineteen forty two. Tayo turned to alcoholism resulting from the desperation affected by the conflicts. This was a way of escaping from the pain and self denial.

Shaman Betonie, who was a mixed blood noted the desperation in Tayo and decided to assist his fellow form the harmful effects of alcoholism. This provides an opportunity for the Shaman Betonie to learn much on the world conflicts and the negative results that are experienced by the common people. The ceremony in the book has been looked at as a Grail fiction. This is because the hero overcomes numerous challenges in the attempt to achieve a desired goal. This has received criticism from a number of scholars from all over the world termed it as Eurocentric. This is because the concepts and the religious implications in it reflect on the Native American backgrounds not myths revolving around European-American.

The book has strong religious traditions well crafted, in the form of a story to bring out the desired picture in the reader’s eyes. The book has stories that have been retold over years. This ensures that the passage of generational information is done in generations. The influence of religion on the lifestyle of people is evident in that it shapes the behaviors of people. People believe and act in a specified way. A number of scholars have criticized the book citing that the book is exposing the tribal secrets and religious affiliations which were meant to remain secret.

In the Vietnam War; Veterans in the book were offered a message of reconciliation and healing to races, and people of different religious affiliations. The book has a heavenly reflection on the duty of culture on the story telling plays in the Pueblo culture. White people were reported as attempted to disseminate the culture of the Pueblo people by trying to destroy ceremonies. Leslie states that the beliefs, myths and rituals of the Pueblo people thrived amidst many challenges emanating from the white people.

Leslie states that times have changed and many challenges have engulfed the practices of the Pueblo people. The changes have been visible from the World War Two to the present times. New threats to the Pueblos have made the people bind together on the basis of religious influences. The Pueblos, who are the oppressed have received harassment by the Spanish and the other Whites. Religion has played a significant role in ensuring that the Pueblos remain intact over many years. Pueblo culture can never be eliminated dead to the strong roots in religion. This concept was realized by Leslie, and written on the ceremonial life of the Pueblos. The book has reflected on the background of the Pueblo people, geography, rituals and the methodology involved.

Pueblo people have strong ties to the traditional myths and rituals. Pueblo Indians refer to the native people of the Pueblo crescent living in the South Western part of America. The region stretches from Tao in the New Mexico towards Hopi in the Arizona. Laguna reservation is the setting background of the Silko’s Novel. The novel’s most significant figures reflect on the Pueblo mythology which indicates the thought woman, sun father and the corn mother. The three beings are considered extremely powerful in that they show the profound religious powers which assist in the myths and ritual ceremonies.

The thought woman is believed to have powers on the creation of the universe. The myths are used to extrapolate on the Pueblo believe in that the universe is directly related to the world people live in, which in turn has four worlds. The four worlds are reflected in the heavenly regions where the dead people’s spirits go. This has been credited in revealing the Pueblo culture in storytelling.  Pueblo people belief that storytelling “aren't just for entertainment”. They believe that storytelling passed on religious beliefs, history and practices from one generation to another. Ceremonies have helped in linking between the mythical deities and the people of Pueblo. The ritual life’s of the Pueblo people revolves on the myths and religious beliefs.

Corn mother is also referred to as the corn woman. The woman has been associated with the Pueblo mythology. This is on the fact that a number of ceremonies are associated with the corn woman. The woman is considered synonymous with the mother earth. Corm woman is considered to represent growth, feminism and life. Corn is considered s staple food among the Pueblo people. This is in line to the ritual corn dance which is dedicated to bringing rain, ensure abundance of food and increase fertility. The Spanish missionaries played a profound role in the corn ceremony. This indicates the influence of religion on the Pueblo people. Dancers make gestures in demonstration of requests they are offering to the corn mother. The book illustrates that religious beliefs are particularly critical. If the offerings are not subjected to the corn mother, then the earth life would cease indicating the necessities of religious belief in ensuring the continuity of life.

Sun father usually stands next to the corn mother. This is considered as one of the most creative forces in the world. He represents light and masculinity. He is pure in light and white which is considered to be a sacred color. The corn meal is usually subjected to the sun father. This is critical in indicating the relationship with the corn mother. Pueblo people are expected to maintain close relationships with one another. The thought woman is also closely connected to the sun father and the corn woman.


Leslie literally work has been adored by many scholars. The messages are clearly passed over to the reader. The religious aspects in the ceremonies emanated and demonstrated the obligation to respect and maintain close relationships. The Pueblo people have perfected the act of togetherness over years despite many challenges. The book emphasizes that if the ceremonies are done perfectly, the needs of the Pueblo people are met indicating the relationship between the Pueblo people and the spirits. The ceremonies indicate the creative forces of change, and remaining coherent, despite many attacks.


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