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Depictions of Native Homelands: Genre, Miscegenation, and Women’s Roles in Therese Broderick’s "The Brand" and Mourning Dove’s "Cogewea"

Susan Savage Lee

Pages 27 - 51



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While much has been made of Lucullus Virgil McWhorter’s influence on Mourning Dove’s novel "Cogewea", very little mention has been made by scholars about the connections between "Cogewea" and Therese Broderick’s "The Brand". Scholars like Arnold Krupat and Victoria Lamont, for example, mention the scene in "Cogewea" in which the protagonist becomes disgusted enough with "The Brand" to toss it into the fireplace, but an actual side-by-side comparison has not been made. Broderick’s novel overlaps with Mourning Dove’s text in thematic ways that extend beyond one scene: the romance genre that both writers chose for their works; the appearance of protagonists who identify as both White and Native American; and the role of women in ranching. By executing this textual comparison using a Native American and Indigenous studies lens, it will become apparent that Mourning Dove’s novel was more than an attempt to “write back” to Broderick’s Eurocentric perspective. Rather, Mourning Dove’s text demonstrates that Native Americans actively shaped literature, that they communicated via different forms of media, and that Native works exhibit tribally specific knowledge and chronology, the latter of which are outlined as the major tenets of Native American and Indigenous studies by Alyssa Mt. Pleasant, Caroline Wigginton, and Kelly Wisecup. To view this intertextual relationship through the lens of Native American and Indigenous studies will make possible a return to established topics like settler-Native conflict, blood quantum, and Native feminism using new points of view.

Key Words:Mourning Dove; "The Brand"; "Cogewea"; Therese Broderick; Native American literature

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