A man hopes to appease competing missionaries by dividing his future children among their respective churches; a young girl...

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SOME PEOPLE ARE INDIANS

A man hopes to appease competing missionaries by dividing his future children among their respective churches; a young girl struggles to make ""a good name"" in the English language school even though her real name has been mixed up on the school records; a thrifty older wife outwits the Navaho judge Slow Talker. . . Again and again in these vignettes a Navaho character is thrown into the conflict with white culture or reveals some new aspect of Navaho life -- the squaw dance, the birth of a first child in the family hooghan, or the inevitable loss of a child to ""Arrows-in-thechest sickness."" Though rather thin by the standards of fiction, each of the protagonists is sturdy enough in the context of Boyce's slice-of-life realism. There are moments of gentle humor and earthy wisdom to balance the pathos, and the background notes for each episode -- on Navaho names, marriage customs and legendary heroes -- are supported by the characters themselves, who seem as authentic as the Arizona countryside. Overly poignant, but better executed than say, La Pointe's The Sioux Today which presented the same sort of ""typical"" scenes but lacked the story-teller's perspective.

Pub Date: June 14, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 166

Publisher: Vanguard

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974