Everything you need to understand or teach Sacred Clowns by Tony Hillerman.
Like Hillerman's earlier novels, Sacred Clowns explores the various conflicts between Navajo and white culture. Also like some of his earlier novels, the book highlights conflicts among various Indian cultures, exploring how people's cultural backgrounds form their views of the world.
One of the major themes concerns the different ways that whites and Navajos view justice. White culture draws on the Judeo-Christian tradition that views justice as fitting the punishment to the crime. Thus, as Janet Pete, a half Navajo, half Scottish lawyer trained in the American justicial system, argues, when people commit crimes, they must be brought to justice and receive just retribution. Because Pete, having been raised off the reservation, is half Navajo by blood but not by culture, she does not understand the traditional Navajo position on crime that Jim Chee appreciates. This view argues another tradition of justice, that of restoring hozho, or harmony,... View more of the Sacred Clowns Summary