Before You Read. “The Man to Send Rain Clouds” by Leslie Marmon Silko. Born About Silko. “I was fortunate to be reared by my great-grandmother and. Silko, Leslie Marmon. Genre. Short Story. Overview. Published in , “The Man to Send Rain Clouds” depicts the story of an old man who is found dead in a. Leon: Grandson of Teofilo, brother-in-law of Ken, round character; Ken: Grandson of Teofilo, brother-in-law of Leon, flat character; Father Paul.

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The priest approached the grave slowly. Neglect of burial or death ritual can result in death or sickness because the ghost returns Parsons. The dialogues between Leon and Father Paul, and between Leon and Louise, present the characters to the readers directly, thus enabling readers to draw their own conclusions as to the characters respective natures and motivations.

As the story opens, Leon and his brother-in-law, Ken, find an old man, Teofilo, dead under a cottonwood tree. The story is based on an incident she had heard of in Laguna, that an old man had been found dead in a sheep camp and had been given a traditional Indian burial, and that the local Catholic priest had resented the fact that he had not been called in.

Unable to think of anything else, she decided to write about this incident and to try to imagine the scene and how the people had felt. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

The importance of ritual sene Pueblo Indian life is emphasized at the beginning of the story when Leon and Ken, after finding old Teofilo dead, immediately observe the first stages of the funeral rites. In a sense [Leslie Marmon Silko] started to write in the fifth grade: But then after World War One it changed.

The Man to Send Rain Clouds |

He has affection and respect for his parishioners, as seen in his concern for old Teofilo. The Pueblo paint the face of the deceased so that he will be recognized in the next world.

Although the pueblo was not subjected to as many attacks from the Spanish as the Rio Grande pueblos, it was forced to surrender in after an attack by the troops of Governor Diego de Vargas. Through this story, Silko emphasizes that the continuing strength of Pueblo traditions lies in the ability of the people to incorporate alien elements for their own purposes.


When Ken and Leon in their pickup come looking for old Teofilo, they already have with them what is needed to perform the preliminaries for a traditional burial, such as painting his face. La Vonne] Ruoff observes that the strength of Indian tradition for Silko is not in rigid adherence to old ways, but in creative incorporation of new elements [ MELUS, 5, 4, Winter, ]. Modern Language Association http: Throughout the story, Silko emphasizes that the strength of Pueblo traditions lies in their ability to incorporate alien elements into their own way of life.

Furthermore, as an objective writer, she does not take sides, but gives a balanced, sensitive presentation of the characters.

People in the leslje part of the village were our clanspeople because the clan system was still maintained although not in the same form it would have been if we were full blood. Born in in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she grew up on the nearby Laguna Pueblo Reservation, where she was raised within a family of mixed Indian, Mexican, and white descent.

Back at Laguna she had just heard in headline form that an old man had been found dead at a sheep camp and had been given a traditional burial and that the priest had resented rainn fact that he was not called in. Hence, for Father Paul, the sprinkling of holy water has a much.

Additional immigration occurred during the s, when the Lagunas were joined by Indians from the Rio Grandeprobably fleeing both drought and the hostility of the Spanish after the Pueblo Rebellion in and the renewed uprising in Death is not an end, but part of a cycle wherein the spirit departs to return in time with rainstorms.

At first, Father Paul refuses to use the holy water as part of an Indian burial ceremony.

One illustration of this is the following passage: There were no kachina dances for some time after the Great Split and the laying of the railroad on the edge of the village. Irony is a literary device used to convey meaning to a phrase quite different than—in fact, often. To be sure, she does want us to see that these are Laguna rituals and attitudes. Gilbert sees this strategy cclouds a matter of re-vision, seeing anew: Nonetheless, his action brings him to the edge of the community: Only when this is done is one prepared to deal with the problems of the present.

In her depiction of the Pueblos she makes us feel what David B. Time in its historical dimension is unimportant as it is an endlessly repeating cycle in which man is but a minute part of the cycle. For one thing, she doubts that the informants among whom were some gain her own ancestors always gave the scholars the true story, and more important, their reports are dead to her compared to the living reality of what she has heard and seen and felt herself.


She has also written film scripts and given numerous interviews which provide insights into her works. After founding Old Laguna Kawaik aroundthey issued invitations to other pueblos to join them. The Pueblo people paint the faces of the dead so maromn they will be recognized in the next world.

The Man to Send Rain Clouds

In she was awarded a John D. The narrator makes several references to the Indian burial ceremony and the history of the Pueblo people. Realizing that he has been tricked into participating in their pagan rites and half suspecting that the whole thing may be just a spring fertility ceremony rather than a real funeral, he nevertheless sprinkles the grave with a whole jar of holy water. The story dend her wide recognition as well as a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Man To Send Rain Clouds by Rebecca Wanamaker on Prezi

Silko claims that Pueblo narratives are lean and spare because so much of what constitute the stories is shared knowledge. And on the other hand, as already suggested, pueblo societies see the survival of the group as more important than the existence of the individual.

Teofilo was old and well respected, as evidenced by the affection shown him by Leon and his family. The sun was approaching the long mesa where it disappeared during the winter. Silko indicates that her great grandfather Robert and his brother had a government contract to set out the boundary markers for Laguna. Although he is troubled by the persistence of Indian customs in his parish, he learns to adapt to them.

To the Pueblo, death is not the end of existence, but part of a cycle in which the human spirit returns to its source and then helps the community by returning with rain clouds.