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Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony explores the struggle of post-World War II veteran Tayo, who is born of Native American and Anglo-American descent. His biracialism, combined with trauma from the war, lead him on a journey to rediscover the self he thought he lost in the jungle, but never truly possessed. Tayo was never welcome within his family or his Laguna community, so an identity was never formed. The trauma of war further destroyed this fragile sense of identity, leaving him weakened mentally and physically. Upon his return, he discovered healing through the stories of his people and heritage. He was prescribed ceremonies, the physical reenactments of the Laguna stories, to reconnect him to his identity, his people, and the story of his heritage. Ultimately, the restoration of identity allows him to realize the unity of all people, land, and ceremonies within one communal story of humanity. By understanding this, Tayo unlocks the key to solving the disease upon the community and land in which he lives—a disease born from the chaos of war and the importance of story in preserving the health of humanity.


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • English

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Library 3rd Floor Room 382

  • Event date
    • 31 March 2014

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Tanya Bennett