In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Arnold comes from the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington, a place built on tradition and custom. Arnold describes his culture for us in full detail: powwows, fry bread, and many, many funerals. What is Arnold's relationship to these traditions and customs? Arnold also tells us that Indian families tend to stay in one place, a tradition that makes it hard for Arnold to leave the reservation.
What are the traditions and customs of the folks in the white town of Reardan? Do Reardan and Wellpinit share any traditions or customs? What about basketball?
By leaving the reservation, Arnold breaks with the tradition of his people and hopes to find a new life – and a new identity.
By becoming "nomadic," Arnold doesn't break with his people's tradition. He merely continues a traditional part of his culture that had been long forgotten.