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In the earlier novels the authors were chiefly concerned with depicting the Indian ethnic experience, the texture of tribal life. Census Bureau reported that in 1980--the most pertinent date for the novels under discussion--31 percent of Indians had finished high school, 17 percent had attended college (8 percent graduated), and 28 percent were living below the poverty line.
Although certainly there are many middle-class Indians, statistically most Indians on and off the reservation are working-class. So, an author concerned with depicting the Indian experience is not likely to make his protagonist a yuppie.
In this case the funeral does not follow tribal traditions--there is a coffin and a grave--but following the Blackfeet custom of burying the deceased's possessions with him or her, the hero throws into the grave his grandmother's last possession, a tobacco pouch with an arrowhead in it, a relic of the days when she was the wife of a great chief. Like Abel in House Made of Dawn, Tayo is an outsider because he is illegitimate.
Trickster takes different forms in different tribes--Coyote, Raven, Hare, Old Man, Heyoka--but in all cases he plays tricks and is the victim of tricks, has prodigious appetites for food and sex and adventure, is always on the move, and is totally amoral, beyond good and evil.The authors included in this movement include: Paula Gunn Allen; Barney Bush; Louise Erdrich; Joy Harjo; N.Scott Momaday; Duane Niatum; Nila north Sun; Simon J.In contemporary Indian literature this means that Trickster is more likely to be a bum than a businessman.He is found far more often in a bar than in an office; he is traditionally a drifter who is usually out of work and often in jail. This is the Heyoka a character in Native American literature who is also called the “trickster.”In general, the first generation of novels of the Indian Renaissance is about tribal identity.
Native American Renaissance, a controversial term, is frequently used to describe the explosion of literature created after the 1960's by Native American writers of fiction.