Study Guide

Ceremony Poem XVII

By Leslie Marmon Silko


  • Betonie's ceremonial chant looks just like the poems we've seen so far.
  • Basically, Betonie is chanting that Tayo has been to a very dangerous placeā€”the place where the "whirling darkness" started and spread to the four corners of the earth.
  • Shush is acting particularly bear-like. In fact, he's made bear prints all over the room.
  • Betonie comes up to Tayo and cuts him across the top of the head. Ouch!
  • Then Betonie and Shush pick up Tayo and guide his feet into the bear footprints.
  • Betonie chants as they lead Tayo through each of the five hoops.