Native American Life Narratives: A Representation of Indigenous Culture and Worldview



Native American literature, indigenous culture, life narratives, worldviews, native consciousness.


In the wake of historical trauma of centuries, Native American literature across time has voiced a perspective of history, culture and life that is specific to Native American worldviews and challenges Eurocentric version of being an Indian. Prominent among these different genres are Native American life narratives which counter western concept of self and consciousness with a Native consciousness and worldview. This paper explores the three of the most powerful American Indian life narratives Black Elk Speaks, Rolling Thunder and Mad Bear as the life tales and biography of indigenous medicine men which forms the foundation of Native American tribal culture and philosophy of life. Through an exploration of these life narratives, the papers attempts to establish that these texts serve as a representation of indigenous culture, tribal knowledge and epistemology. The paper aims to highlight that apart from adding to the canon of Native American literature, these life narratives serve as an expression of native resistance and tribal survival.