Thomas S. Whitecloud (Chippewa) (1914-1972)
Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr.
Classroom Issues and Strategies
Present "Blue Winds Dancing" as you would any well-written
The social implication of being Indian in an Anglo-dominated society
gets lost for students in the larger issue of simply feeling "at odds"
as a result of "gaps"--social, political, generational, etc.
Major Themes, Historical Perspectives, and Personal Issues
1. Self-identify, self-realization
2. Individual caught between two cultures, one not fully lost and the
other not fully gained
3. Culture loss and acculturation
Significant Form, Style, or Artistic Conventions
Stress the essay structure (this one is neatly divided; how do the three
parts interlock, structurally and thematically?).
Stress the use of rich visual imagery. Which seem to be drawn
from Indian heritage, which not? Is there any difference in the effects
It fits into the context of the whole scene of social disruption in
the Great Depression, heightened in this case by the sense of being kicked
loose, out of touch with two cultures.
For contemporary readers, it speaks to the large themes of searching
out roots and self-realization.
Comparisons, Contrasts, Connections
For earlier generations of Indian writers who deal with the theme of
being caught between cultures, see Copway
and Apess, Eastman
and Bonnin. For later
writers, see Welch and