Mourning Dove , Sho-pow-tan. One of the first known novels by a Native American woman, Cogewea is the story of a half-blood girl caught between the worlds of Anglo ranchers and full-blood reservation Indians; between the craven and false-hearted easterner Alfred Densmore and James LaGrinder, a half-blood cowboy and the best rider on the Flathead; between book learning and the folk wisdom of her full-blood grandmother. The book combines authentic Indian lore with the circumstance and dialogue of a popular romance; in its language, it shows a self-taught writer attempting to come to terms with the rift between formal written style and the comfort-able rhythms and slang of familiar speech. She lived as a migrant farmworker and, after ten-hour days in the hop fields and apple orchards, faithfully returned to the battered typewriter in her tent.
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It is one of the earliest novels written by an indigenous woman from the Plateau region. The novel includes the first example of Native American literary criticism. Cogewea, the eponymous protagonist, is a woman of mixed-race ancestry, both Indigenous and Euro-American, who feels caught between her two worlds.
She works on the ranch of her sister and white brother-in-law in Montana, where she is respected for her talents and skills. Cogewea is torn between the world of her white father and that of her Okanagan spelled "Okanogan" in the novel grandmother, Stemteema.
He threatened the publishing company, Four Seas Press, in order to get the novel published. Controversy has developed over McWhorter's influence over and changes in the novel. While some scholars believe his edits were typical for the genre and his time, others consider McWhorter to be a second author of the novel. McWhorter denied having that large a role. The novel opens with a description of the frontier landscape and introduces Cogewea, a young Okanagan spelled "Okanogan" in the novel who is multiracial with a white father and Okanagan mother.
Her Okanagan grandmother describes her as an impulsive and free-speaking young woman. A well-loved figure on her white brother-in-law's ranch, Cogewea is also well-educated in Okanagan folklore and values through her grandmother.
But she feels a tension between her two cultures. Cogewea grapples with having received a western education at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in central Pennsylvania, the model of Indian boarding schools , where children were forced to give up their languages and cultures.
One rancher, Silent Bob, tells a new rancher, Alfred Densmore, that Cogewea is heir to a large property and fortune, though she is not. Cogewea's grandmother uses storytelling and Okanagan traditions to convince Cogewea that Densmore will take advantage of her. After a period of indecision, Cogewea refuses Densmore's proposal.
He ends up taking Cogewea captive, but after he realizes that she has little financial worth, he leaves her to die in the wilderness. In the end, a mixed-race rancher named Jim rescues Cogewea. She realizes her feelings for Jim and marries him. Cogewea : the eponymous main character is a young woman who has a love for nature and is a skilled horse rider. She is headstrong but charming and loved by many at the HB Ranch. Like most members of the ranch, her heritage is Indigenous and Euro-American.
Stemteema : Cogewea's grandmother, who raised Cogewea and her sisters, Mary and Julia. She does not trust the Shoyapee her term for white people, which loosely translated compares the "white man" to a "the hog because of his greedy nature".
Each of her warnings come true. Alfred Densmore : The greenhorn easterner a stock western character whom Cogewea hires. He is told by Silent Bob as a prank that Cogewea possesses a fortune in land and capital, which is not true. He then devises a plan to seduce Cogewea and steal her money.
Mary : Cogewea's sister who is quiet but also distrusts white culture. She ends up marrying Frenchy, who is a European but respects Indigenous culture and identity. Julia : Cogewea's sister who has married a white man who owns the HB Ranch. She has assimilated into white culture. Silent Bob : A comical prankster cowboy a stock character in the Dime Western.
He may be a parody of Owen Wister's taciturn eponymous hero in The Virginian novel. Bob tells Densmore that Cogewea has money and land, leaving her vulnerable to Denmore's machinations. However, Bob breaks from his stock mold to tell Cogewea the truth about Densmore. The major theme of the novel is the conflict which Cogewea feels as a "half-breed" who is caught between the Indian and white worlds, tradition and change.
Cogewea's two sisters: Mary and Julia represent the two paths Cogewea could choose. Mary has maintained a traditional way of life with the guidance of her grandmother, while Julia has married a white man and assimilated into American culture. Her husband, John Carter, is described warmly. Another major theme is the perils of marriage; it is portrayed as especially dangerous when between an indigenous woman and white man.
Densmore insists on a traditional indigenous marriage ceremony between himself and Cogewea, but Cogewea's grandmother believes their union will lead to abuse. In Chapter XIX, "The Story of Green-Blanket Feet," Stemteema warns Cogewea that "the fate of green-blanket feet is for you, my grandchild, unless you turn from him [Densmore]"  The fate Stemteema refers to is the escape by an Indian woman, Green-Blanket Feet, from a situation of domestic violence; she leaves her children behind, as she is afraid that her white husband will hunt her down otherwise.
This is particularly heartbreaking, as in most Indian cultures, children are considered to be born to the mother's family. Densmore does commit violence against Cogewea, proving her grandmother's point.
With Cogewea , Mourning Dove attempted to infuse the western romance with the oral traditions of her Okanagan culture. The conventional themes of the Western as written by men, such as progress, western expansion, rugged individualism, and frontier hardiness, are turned on their head.
However, in this novel, this character decides to reveal his lie out of affection for Cogewea. Scholars such as Dexter Fisher argue that Mourning Dove's inclusion of Okanagan stories was intended to express Okanagan cultural concepts in literature. For example, Fisher notes a recurring motif of Okanagan "Spirit Power," in the novel. Throughout the book, characters with indigenous ancestry have correct intuitions about the future, which they attribute to guidance from their ancestors.
For example, Jim is said to know that Cogewea will win the horse race because his "spirit power" told him. Fisher argues that Mourning Dove feared was that a European-American audience would ridicule such Okanagan concepts. Mourning Dove finished writing Cogewea in but it was not published by Four Seas Press until Her friend and editor, Lucullus Virgil McWhorter had threatened to sue the press to have the book released.
But the publisher also resisted acknowledging Mourning Dove as an Indigenous novelist rather than as an ethnographic source. Indigenous peoples in the twentieth century were largely excluded and even blocked from publishing in Canada and the United States.
Scholars have debated the extent to which McWhorter was an editor or collaborator. The first late 20th-century take on the book, provided by Charles Larson in , suggests McWhorter may have been more than an editor. Most recent scholarship since her article has also used this term. Susan K. When the book was first published, audiences found the novel's style awkward. Mourning Dove was accused by one US Indian agent of falsely claiming that she written the novel.
It was not until the late 20th century that Cogewea gained scholarly attention, following a revival of interest in women's and indigenous people's works. Since that time, scholarship has focused on the infusion in Cogewea of Western tropes with Native American storytelling. In the novel, Alfred Densmore attempts to steal land and money he believes Cogewea possesses she doesn't , and ends up abusing her when he finds out she is poor.
Scholars agree that this plot line is a re-writing of the Silyx Okanagan oral story of Chipmunk and Owl Woman, where Owl Woman is the devourer and Chipmunk barely survives her encounter. Jeannette Armstrong , a First Nations woman who claims to be a grand-niece of Mourning Dove, says that the author had a "masterful knowledge of what Okanagan oral story is and how it works". Recent scholarship has also recognized the novel as a work of Indigenous empowerment.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. It may require cleanup to comply with Wikipedia's content policies, particularly neutral point of view. Please discuss further on the talk page. May Learn how and when to remove this template message. American Indian Quarterly. American Indian Culture and Research Journal. Cogewea by Mourning Dove. University of Nebraska Press, U of Nebraska Press published Western American Literature.
Stephen Tatum and Melody Graulich. Oxford University Press, Cogewea The Half-Blood. By Dove, Mourning. McWhorter, Lucullus ed. University of Nebraska Press. Jeannette Armstrong. Penticton: Theytus, ISSN Modern Fiction Studies. Comparative Literature and Culture. American Literature. Oxford University Press. Jace Weaver. University of Oklahoma Press. PhD Dissertation. Categories : Western genre novels. Hidden categories: Articles with short description Wikipedia articles with possible conflicts of interest from May
Cogewea the Half Blood – Mourning Dove
It is one of the earliest novels written by an indigenous woman from the Plateau region. The novel includes the first example of Native American literary criticism. Cogewea, the eponymous protagonist, is a woman of mixed-race ancestry, both Indigenous and Euro-American, who feels caught between her two worlds. She works on the ranch of her sister and white brother-in-law in Montana, where she is respected for her talents and skills. Cogewea is torn between the world of her white father and that of her Okanagan spelled "Okanogan" in the novel grandmother, Stemteema. He threatened the publishing company, Four Seas Press, in order to get the novel published. Controversy has developed over McWhorter's influence over and changes in the novel.
Cogewea, The Half Blood: A Depiction of the Great Montana Cattle Range
Mourning Dove learned storytelling from her maternal grandmother, and from an elderly lady who lived with her family when she was young. She was influenced by pulp-fiction novels, which her adopted brother Jimmy Ryan let her read. Cogewea The Half Blood is a novel that depicts the plight of a young mixed race girl in 19th century Montana. The plot follows her as a rancher she hires forms a plot to seduce her and marry her for her supposed fortune. When she eventually declines his request for marriage he takes her captive, and upon realizing she has no fortune to be inherited she leaves her to die in the wilderness. After being saved by a rancher named Jim she finds herself heir to part of her white fathers fortune after all, realizes her affections for Jim and marries him. The novel is a blend of western romanticism and traditional native american storytelling, evident in the focus on the beauty of natural landscapes and connection to the wild felt by the protagonist as an individual.
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