Ceremony Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What kind of Indian is Tayo and what are his earliest memories of his mother?

Tayo is a half-breed born of a Luguna Indian mother and an unidentified white man in Gallup, New Mexico. His mother is homeless, and his earliest memories are of the men who come in and out of their corrugated tin shelter in an arroyo outside of town, and of sleeping under the tables in a local tavern when his mother would go off with some man or another.

2. What does Tayo’s mother do with him when he is four?

At four years old, she takes him to her home in the Laguna Pueblo and leaves him with her family, a group of proud and respectable Lagunas, where he grows up under the resentful care of her sister. Auntie had not wanted to take him, but she was overruled by her mother, Old Grandma, and her brother Josiah.

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