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Indigenous and Ecofeminist Reclamation and Renewal: The Ghost Dance in Silko’s Gardens in the Dunes

Languages and Cultures, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
Humanities 2022, 11(4), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11040079
Received: 10 March 2022 / Revised: 4 June 2022 / Accepted: 11 June 2022 / Published: 25 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reconstructing Ecofeminism)
Early in the development of ecofeminist literary criticism, white feminists borrowed shallowly and unethically from Indigenous cultures. Using that underinformed discourse to interpret Native American women’s literature resulted in idealizing and silencing Indigenous women’s voices and concerns. Native American feminist literary critics have also asserted that a well-informed, inclusive “tribal-feminism” or Indigenous-feminist critical approach can be appropriate and productive, in that it focuses on unique and shared imbalances created by white patriarchal colonization, thinking, and ways of being that affect Indigenous and non-Indigenous women and cultures and the environment. In her third novel, Gardens in the Dunes, Leslie Marmon Silko interweaves an ecological critique of white imperialist botanical exploitation of landscapes and Indigenous peoples globally with both a celebration of Native American relationships to the land and Indigenous women’s resourceful resistance and an ecofeminist reclamation of European pagan/Great Goddess iconography, sacred landscapes, and white feminist autonomy. Expanding on earlier Indigenous-feminist readings, this ecofeminist analysis looks at a key trope in Gardens, the Ghost Dance, an environmentally and ancestrally focused nineteenth-century sacred resistance and reclamation rite. Silko’s is a late-twentieth-century literary adaptation/enactment in what is the continuing r/evolution of the Ghost Dance, a dynamic figure in Native American literature and culture. View Full-Text
Keywords: Leslie Marmon Silko; Gardens in the Dunes; ecofeminism; Indigenous feminism; Ghost Dance Leslie Marmon Silko; Gardens in the Dunes; ecofeminism; Indigenous feminism; Ghost Dance
MDPI and ACS Style

McNeil, E. Indigenous and Ecofeminist Reclamation and Renewal: The Ghost Dance in Silko’s Gardens in the Dunes. Humanities 2022, 11, 79. https://doi.org/10.3390/h11040079

AMA Style

McNeil E. Indigenous and Ecofeminist Reclamation and Renewal: The Ghost Dance in Silko’s Gardens in the Dunes. Humanities. 2022; 11(4):79. https://doi.org/10.3390/h11040079

Chicago/Turabian Style

McNeil, Elizabeth. 2022. "Indigenous and Ecofeminist Reclamation and Renewal: The Ghost Dance in Silko’s Gardens in the Dunes" Humanities 11, no. 4: 79. https://doi.org/10.3390/h11040079

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