Study Guide

Ceremony Poem XXIX

By Leslie Marmon Silko


  • This short poem seems to resolve the story about the hunter who was cursed by Coyote.
  • "They" unravel and cut up the dead skin that Coyote had thrown on him. They cut the evil that had entangled him into little pieces.
  • Sounds like this man is free from Coyote's magic, and so is Tayo.
  • On to the prose again.
  • Harley and Leroy's bodies are found in the wreckage of Leroy's old pickup truck in some boulders at the bottom of a hill.
  • They're dismembered beyond recognition, and the coffins the Veterans Office provides for them are sealed. It's not much different than if they had died at Wake Island or Iwo Jima.
  • Page break.
  • After Tayo's meeting with old man Ku'oosh, Auntie finally stops watching Tayo like she's waiting for something bad to happen.
  • She tells him what she said when the church ladies asked her how she'd dealt with so much hardship in her life: "it's never been easy." (XXIX.2)
  • Auntie reports Pinkie's death to the family with a look of triumph on her face.
  • The story goes that Pinkie and a bunch of the guys were hanging out and drinking at a sheep camp when they started playing around with an old rifle.
  • In a freak drunken accident, Pinkie was shot in the back of the head by Emo.
  • Hmm—suspicious. But "the FBI called it an accident." (XXIX.15)
  • The old men told Emo to go away and never come back. Rumor has it he went to California.
  • Tayo thinks California is a good place for Emo.
  • Old Grandma says these stories don't get her excited anymore. She feels like she's heard them all before, and that only the names are different.