Creek Indian Social Ball Game Poem Analysis

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Joy Harjo 's choice to use of Creek Indian Social Ball Game by Solomon McCombs as cover art for Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings invokes Mvskoke cultural traditions and methods of conflict resolution. The references to traditional ceremonies and the treatment of storytelling in her poems affirms that Harjo sees preservation of her heritage through art as a form of healing from ancestral trauma, a theme that dominates her poetry. Healing implies that the body and soul have worked through a complicated process in which tender care of the body and spirit have been administered so as to knit wounds together, form scars, and lead to invention of new ways to cope with what has been lost and the changed as a result. Perhaps at its core, Conflict …show more content…
Through story and its ability to transfer an experience to those who hear it, that truth of the murder is passed along to the people of the village. Ceremonial quality to the performance, mixture of dance and narrative paced with the energy of atmosphere, nature, and people. "I talk about the qualities of the woman, whom the man sees as a walrus" (104). This line conveys the mistake the hunter made, which was in seeing the woman not as a fellow human connected to himself, but as something for him to hunt and kill. That the man sees the woman as a walrus is a simple truth, and simultaneously emphasizes his role as a skilled hunter who feeds his people. By talking about the woman 's qualities as well as those of the hunter, the narrator gives these people the ability to interpret and judge for themselves. "The people turn together as one and see him" (104), and draw a united conclusion about the most balanced path to justice. The problem is plainly stated at the end: “We make a jumble of stories. We do not dream together” (104). If we would bother to know each other, to share our stories, to listen to the earth and to each other, we could dream together. Story becomes a source of enlightenment and method of preserving knowledge that is not didactic but visceral, so that individuals can grow in harmony with the world they

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