Rainy Mountain
 
The "Way" To Rainy Mountain:
A Review of a Historical Reconstruction
 
  In his book,The Way To Rainy Mountain, N.Scott
Momaday constructed a unique platform from which to view the
cultural history of the Kiowa Indians. It is a platform that reflects
Momaday's own background, sense of purpose and subsequent
approach to the subject. Momaday is a Kiowa Indian by birth,
and yet he was educated formally in the mainstream American
culture of the 1950s and 60s. Furthermore, Momaday is not a
historian, that is, he was not trained in the profession; rather, he is  
a literary artist and a professor of English. With a few unexpected twists and turns,
Momaday utilizes sources from both the Kiowa and the dominant culture, as well as his own
memory, imagination and the tools of his trade, to reconstruct his own ancestral heritage.
  Momaday begins his book by acquainting his audience with verifiable facts about the
Kiowa's past. He tells of how the Kiowa migrated in the early 18th century from
  ...the headwaters of the Yellowstone River eastward to the Black  
  Hills and south to the Wichita Mountains [in what is currently  
  southwestern Oklahoma. It is there, says Momaday, that]...a  
  single knoll rises out of the plain...[which serves as a landmark for  
  the homeland of the Kiowas], to which...they gave the  
  name...Rainy Mountain.1  
It is at this point in the narrative that Momaday begins to stray from convention by revealing
the allegorical nature of his text. He informs us that
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  1. N. Scott Momaday, The Way To Rainy Mountain,
(Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1969), p. 4.