Topic: The Tribe, the Town, and the Coyote

I've worked on a book that deals with a tribe of Native Americans, Cheyenne, in the late 1800's. They escape a reservation pursued by the army. They end up at a frontier town with a church that tries to help them. What would have happened if a church had dealt with them properly? Considering how badly things ended up with American tribes I don't think that churches did well. I just saw a movie about Geronimo in Netflix. They use spoken Apache interlaced with English which was very good. I hope the use the Cheyenne language in this story to a degree. It would be impossible for me to do a word for word translation. But I hope to use Cheyenne words for names, and other things. I'm not sure if I should simply state the Cheyenne and then put parenthesis with English. First question is how important is the use of the actual Cheyenne language? And how do I do it? Second question has to do with contrasting Christians who want to help vs. some who simply don't care or hate the tribe and how blatant do I go with that? I love the interaction of cultures and that is where the story can get rough. I want to be realistic, and I even bought books on the Cheyenne and on learning the Cheyenne language. BUT it is a process to go from a white-ethnocentric-Christian way of thinking to somehow incorporating an entirely different group of people into your world. I don't want to blast the church, but I want to explore how things could have been done differently.
Thoughts please, even if you're not a Christian! I don't want to sound like a Bible thumper.
George FLC

2 (edited by George FLC 2022-05-21 22:06:57)

Re: The Tribe, the Town, and the Coyote

I just posted my first chapter. If you feel moved please read. Thanks.

Re: The Tribe, the Town, and the Coyote

My apologies, George. I thought I had responded to your original post, but obviously not. Having read your chapter, I think you're on the right track. Translations in parentheses work as long as there aren't too many of them. And as I suggested in the review, try to translate it once, then keep with English. The resulting English is still sufficiently "alien" to English speakers that it serves to replace the native Indian names/words, which are very complex. Not sure if that makes sense.

As for Bible thumping, your readers will tell you if you've gone over the top. I tried to avoid too much preaching in my Catholic story, although the intersection between my Catholic and gay themes forced me to deal with the Church's views on homosexuality. So far, I haven't had too many complaints. I plan to push the envelope further in the next draft. I'm even considering making Father Romano the pope in the next book. :-)

Re: The Tribe, the Town, and the Coyote

No apologies needed. You're right, the resulting English is alien sounding with names like Day Woman, Many Coups, Spider, and Eagle. I too will deal with Christian views on tribal stuff and town stuff and somehow balancing the preachy part. That's fun and challenging!

Do me a favor. DON'T TELL ME if you decide to make Father Romano pope! I like Romano and I'd like the surprise if you do that. I'm surprised that you're considering it. You've handled the gay stuff really well so far.

5 (edited by Dirk B. 2022-05-22 14:36:51)

Re: The Tribe, the Town, and the Coyote

I'll try not to spill the beans, although with my memory I may accidentally say something. So, I guess this means you'd rather I not kill him at the end of book one as I had originally planned? I have to decide very soon.

Re: The Tribe, the Town, and the Coyote

By all means, kill him if it adds to the story! There have been many martyrs through the millennia. I just like the dude so keep him if you can. But if it turns the story from A to A+ then knock him off! If he dies, I personally would like him to go down in a blaze of glory!!! But you know what's best.

Re: The Tribe, the Town, and the Coyote

I've read the first chapter and I also believe you're on the right track. I'll look for more.

Re: The Tribe, the Town, and the Coyote

Thanks, Don60, I appreciate it.