Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School


First Advisor

Jack Marken


As a child of mixed ancestry growing up on the Laguna Pueblo Indian reservati6n in New Mexico, Leslie Marmon Silko listened to the elders in her family repeat the tales told and retold since the beginnings of Laguna history. She remembered these stories rich in Pueblo myth and tradition and has herself retold them in poetry, story, and novel. In so doing, she has become a part of “the whole story / the long story of the people.” Born in 1948 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Leslie Marmon Silko was educated at Laguna and in public schools. She graduated from the University of New Mexico and attended law school, taught in Alaska and at the University of Arizona, and began developing her career as a writer. Her first short story was published in the New Mexico Quarterly in 1969, and in 1974 she received a poetry award from the \ Chicago Review. Laguna Woman, a collection of eighteen poems dealing with to pics ranging from abortion and adultery to ancient Pueblo belief and myth, was published in 1974, the same year that seven of · her short stories were anthologized by Kenneth Rosen in The Man to Send Rain Clouds. In 1975 Silko's short story “Lullaby” was chosen as one of the twenty best of the year and included in Martha Foley's Best Short Stories of 1975. The following chapters show how Si1ko uses Laguna myth in poetry, short story, novel, and (for want of a better word) autobiography. Her work illustrates that these ancient myths are still relevant to contemporary people of all races.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Silko, Leslie, 1948 -- Criticism and interpretation



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State