Collage of Color in Silko’s Storyteller

As an American Indian writer, Leslie Marmon Silko stretches the imaginations and perceptions of her readers. This Master's thesis investigates one of the motifs she employs to induce these results, the use of color symbolism. Color and color symbolism are utilized in every culture, but Silko's writings provide a quandary which begs investigation--how does this Laguna Pueblo writer integrate the color symbols of her culture and landscape into her stories and poetry? This question is addressed by researching the significance of specific colors within the Pueblo and related communities, exposing through close reading the use of these specific colors within the texts, and finally, through literary analysis, unraveling the language to glean new perspectives on the discourse. A primary work to be analyzed is her collection of poems and stories, Storyteller , and specifically one fictional piece from that collection also entitled "Storyteller," which incorporates layering of Pueblo culture and color symbolism over a distinctly different community and landscape, the Inuit of Alaska. Using this particular story as a basis for looking at other pieces within Storyteller , the integrated system of colors emerges through a close reading of the text. Although color representation is considered universal or innate, this research addresses culture specific color systems and how that association enriches Native literature as well as the scholarship and theoretical basis of American Indian Studies programs.


Sherrie Stewart


Larry Evers






AAT 1476511
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences