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Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins

by Scott O'Dell

Tradition and Customs Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

I was surprised that he gave his real name to a stranger. Everyone in our tribe had two names, the real one which was secret and was seldom used, and one which was common, for it people use your secret name it becomes worn out and loses its magic. (1.33)

Why do the island people have secret names? Why does Chief Chowig give his to the Russian sea captain?

Quote #2

"Most of those who snared fowl and found fish in the deep water and built canoes are gone. The women, who were never asked to do more than stay at home, cook food, and make clothing, now must take the place of men and face the dangers which abound beyond the village." (5.6)

Roles change after most of the men are killed. The women must break  the traditions of the island and need to take the place of the men. What trouble does this cause later on?

Quote #3

"I am his son and since he is dead I have taken his place. I am now Chief of Ghalas-at. All my wishes must be obeyed."

"But first you must become a man. As is the custom, therefore, I will have to whip you with a switch of nettles and then tie you to a red-ant hill." (8.21-22)

Why does Ramo assume he's now chief of the island? Is Ramo a man? What does the novel say about this tradition?

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