1. Introduction

Material Base of the Study  /  Theoretical Approaches  /  Structure of the Study

Part I: Of Age and Elders

2. The Cultural Imagining of Old Age

2.1. The "Roleless Role": Gerontology as a Response to Social Change

2.2. Managing Old Age: Biological Aging, Ageism, Ableism

2.3. Difference Across Time: Studying Old Age Throughout History

2.4. Difference Across Cultures: Gerontology and Cultural Anthropology

Differential Conceptions of the Life Course

2.5. Age and the Cultural Imaginary: Age Studies as Cultural Studies

Disengagement in Old Age  /  The Cultural Construction of Old Age  /  Gender Studies and Age Studies  /  The Limits of Social and Cultural Construction Models  /  The Aging Native: Literary Representations of Old Age

3. Indian Identity and Tribal Elders

3.1. Tradition-Directed Society and Modernity

3.2. Tradition-Directed Identity in Modernity

"Excavating" Cultural Identity  /  Postcolonial Theory and American Indian Theorists  /  The Colonial Construction of American Indian Identity  /  American Indian Identity in an Other-Directed Society

3.3. Imagined Communities and Post-Indians

Imagined Communities  /  The Constructedness of Identity vs. Ethnic Essentialism  /  Postindian Reconceptualizations  /  Stereotypes of Indians

3.4. Sages of the New Age

Reconceptualizing Elderhood: The Sage  /  Sages of the New Age: New Age Stereotypes of (Old) Indians  /  Being Indian as a "State of Mind"

3.5. Contemporary Approaches Towards American Indian Identity

Biological Descent: The "Scientific Measuring" of Indian Identity  /  Common Historical and Political Circumstances  /  Cultural Continuity and Cultural Sovereignty

3.6. Old Age and Indian Identity

Part II: Traditional Stories

4. Traditional Oral Narratives and their Complications

4.1. Traditional Stories between Folklore and Literature

4.2. Key Issues in Native Stories

(1) Authenticity  /  (2) Cultural Copyright, Cultural Specificity, and Cultural Exceptionalism  /  (3) Cultural Memory  /  (4) Performance  /  (5) Orality and Literature  /  (6) Sacrality  /  (7) Language  /  (8) Storytelling and Age

4.3. The Figure of the "Sage"

4.4. Excursus: Oral Literature as a Basis for Written Literature

5. Old Age in Traditional Stories

5.1. Supernatural Characters: Old Creators, Tricksters and Deities

EX (1) Old Man or Napi (Blackfeet / Northern Plains)  /  EX (2) Grandfather Mystery (Brule Sioux / Northern Plains)  /  EX (3) Old Man Coyote as Creator (Crow / Northern Plains)  /  EX (4) Old One as Creator (Okanagan, Modoc / Pacific Northwest)  /  EX (5) "Salt Woman is Refused Food": Salt as Old Grandmother (Cochiti / Southwest)  /  EX (6) Grandfather Peyote (Brule Sioux / Northern Plains)  /  EX (7) "Little Brother Snares the Sun": Grandmother Spider (Cherokee / Southeast)  /  EX (8) "Adventures of Great Rabbit": Rabbit Posing as Wise Old Men (Algonquian / Northeast)  /  EX (9) "How the People Got Arrowheads": Tricking Obsidian Old Man (Shasta / Northern California)  /  EX (10) "Blood Clot Boy's Step-Parents": Providing for Old Step-Parents (Southern Ute / Southwest)  /  EX (11) "The Old Woman of the Spring": Old Woman as Instructor (Cheyenne / Northern Plains)  /  EX (12) "The Orphan Boy and the Elk Dog": Nurturing Old Men (Blackfeet / Northern Plains)  /  EX (13) "When Grizzlies Walked Upright": Creative Old Woman (Modoc / Pacific Northwest)  /  EX (14) "The Hopi Boy and the Sun": Old Women in the Background (Hopi / Southwest)  /  EX (15) "A Gust of Wind": Old Woman and Creation (Ojibwe / Great Lakes)  /  EX (16) "A Fish Story": An Old Couple Relocates the Tribe (Tewa / Southwest)

5.2. Old People and the Order of Things

EX (17) "Stone Boy and the Old Woman": Ugly, Evil Old Woman (Lakota / Northern Plains)  /  EX (18) "Coyote Kills the Giant": A Wise Old Woman (Flathead / Plateau)  /  EX (19) "The First Ship": Old People Witness Cultural Change (Clatsop / Pacific Northwest)  /  EX (20) "The Fight for a Wife": Old Men in Power (Aleut / Alaska Native)  /  EX (21) "Teeth in the Wrong Places": The Evil Old Woman (Ponca-Otoe / Southern Plains)  /  EX (22) "Always-Living-at-the-Coast": Coyote and the Protective Old Man (Kwakiutl / Pacific Northwest)  /  EX (23) "Apache Chief Punishes His Wife": Tricksters and Shabby Old Buffalo (Tiwa / Southwest)  /  EX (24) "The Husband's Promise": The Old Medicine Man (Tewa / Southwest)  /  EX (25) "A Legend of Multnomah Falls": Old Men in Council (Multnomah / Pacific Northwest)  /  EX (26) "The Faithful Wife and the Woman Warrior": The Old Woman as an Accessory to a Crime (Tiwa / Southwest)  /  EX (27) "The Owl Husband": The Old Woman as Sorceress (Passamaquoddy / Northeast)  /  EX (28) "The Giant Bear": Fighting Old Men (Canada)

5.3. Old People and the End of the World

EX (29) "The Gnawing": Don't Anger Grandfather Beaver (Cheyenne / Northern Plains)  /  EX (30) "The End of the World": Old Woman in a Cave (White River Sioux / Northern Plains)  /  EX (31) "The Coming of Wasicu": Iktome Warning the Old (Brule Sioux / Northern Plains)

5.4. Old People, Partnership and Sexuality

EX (32) "Two Foolish Girls and the Stars": Old Star Cannot Perform (Ojibwe / Great Lakes)  /  EX (33) "Teaching the Mudheads How to Copulate": Practicing Sex on an Old Woman (Zuņi / Southwest)  /  EX (34) "A Contest for Wives": Wife-Swapping Amongst Old Tricksters (Cochiti / Southwest)  /  EX (35) "Iktome Sleeps With His Wife By Mistake": Sex With an Old Woman (Brule Sioux / Northern Plains)  /  EX (36) "The Fairies' Cliff": Married to an Old Man (Canada)  /  EX (37) "Coyote's Strawberry": Old Man Coyote Tricked (Crow / Northern Plains)

5.5. Lonely Old People

EX (38) "Arrow Boy": Grandmother Living Alone (Cheyenne / Northern Plains)  /  EX (39) "The Raven": An Old Woman Living Alone (Athapascan / Pacific Northwest, Canada)  /  EX (40) "The Transformed Grandmother": Dead Grandmother Returns (Pima and Tohono O'odham / Southwest)

5.6. Findings and Analysis

6. Traditional Stories in Transformation

6.1. Reinventing the Oral Tradition on Paper: Barbara Duncan's Living Stories of the Cherokee (1998)

EX (7a) Grandmother Spider is "Getting Fire"

6.2. Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller (1981)

EX (38a) "Arrow Boy" / "Estoy-eh-Muut and the Kunideeyahs"

6.3. Retirement as Abandonment: Velma Wallis' Two Old Women (1993)

The Abandoned Elder  /  Disengagement vs. Activity in Retirement  /  Gender-Bending and Age-Bending  /  Questions of Authenticity  /  The Novel and the Epic Individual  /  (S)aged by Literature

Part III: Modern Literature

7. Trickster Permutations: Saged Heroes and Resilient Elders

7.1. Tricksters New and Old

Tricksters and Time  /  Tricksters and Morality  /  Tricksters and Place

7.2. Louise Erdrich: Nanapush in Tracks (1988), The Last Report on the Miracle at Little No Horse (2001) and Four Souls (2004)

Nanapush Between Trickster and Old Man Transgressing Sexual Expectations, and Transgressing Death  /  Preserving Traditions, Remembering the Past  /  Nanapush as a Shadow of the Trickster

7.3. James Welch: Yellow Calf in Winter in the Blood (1974)

Yellow Calf and his Relation to the Protagonist in Winter in the Blood Changes in the Role of Napi

7.4. The Paradigm of Modernity: James Welch's "In My Lifetime" (1971) as Read Vis-ā-Vis Winter in the Blood

Old Man Napi in "In My Lifetime"  /  Lamenting the Fading of Tradition in "In My Lifetime" and Winter in the Blood  /  Tradition in Modernity

7.5. Sherman Alexie: Big Mom in Reservation Blues (1995)

8. Aging Relations: Place and Belonging

8.1. James Welch: "Grandfather at the Rest Home" (1971)

8.2. James Welch: Grandmother in Winter in the Blood (1974)

8.3. Janet Campbell Hale: "Claire" (1999)

Tupiya The Afterlife and Old Age Puer/Puella and Senex

8.4. Sherman Alexie: "One Good Man" (2000)

8.5. James Welch, The Death of Jim Loney (1979)

Puer-Senex, Fate, Thanatos and Tricksters  /  Suicide and Betrayal by the Father

8.6. Intersections of Old Age and Gender: Chrystos' Old Women

Chrystos: "Excuse Me Ma'am" (1991)  /  Chrystos: "The Old Indian Granny" (1995)  /  Chrystos: "On My Way" (1991)

9. Old Age as Loss: Cultural vs. Individual Memory of the Old

9.1. N. Scott Momaday: "Plainview 2" (1976) and House Made of Dawn (1966)

N. Scott Momaday: "Plainview 2"  /  Memory, History, Conflicting Cultural Memories and the Feeling of Loss  /  N. Scott Momaday: House Made of Dawn  /  Loneliness

9.2. Sherman Alexie: "Dear John Wayne" (2000)

9.3. Sherman Alexie's Grandmothers

Sherman Alexie: "Migration, 1902" (2000)  /  Sherman Alexie: "Grandmother" (1992)  /  Sherman Alexie: "Reservation Love Song" (1992) and "Wardances" (2009)

9.4. Chrystos: "They're Always Telling Me I'm Too Angry" (1995)

9.5. Luci Tapahonso: "A Discreet Conversation" (1987)

Part IV: Old Age, Sages and Tradition

10. Haunted by Tradition

10.1. Simon Ortiz: "Long House Valley Poem" (1992)

10.2. The Spectrality of the Old

The Implied Elder: Ancestors as Ghosts  /  Haunted by the Past  /  Haunted Tricksters  /  A Hauntology of Old Age?

10.3. A Golden Age of Old Age?

Utopian Projections Traditional Stories as Representing a Past Order  /  The Paradigm of Usefulness

10.4. Sages Instead of Politicians

Invented Traditions and Cultural Change  /  Literary Consequences  /  The Tradition-Directed Stance


Criticism and Scholarship  /  Traditional Stories, Novels, Short Stories and Poetry  /  Films and Documentaries