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Alcohol consumption was initiated on reservations when traders in the nineteenth century started to offer it to oppressed and depressed Native Americans. Natives represent, in fact, the ethnic group with the highest degree of alcohol consumption in the United States. Confinement on reservations after displacement brought for Native Americans identity conflicts and assimilation problems. This situation promoted the abuse of liquor to mitigate the psychological pain inflicted by the dispossession of the land and enclosure in a limited and controlled space. Both the stereotype of the “Noble Savage” and the “drunken Indian” are recurrent figures in mainstream literature of the US.

Native American Literature of the 70s and 80s (American Indian Literary Renaissance) focused on restoring the tribal inheritance of mixed blood Indians who had been alienated both by whites and fellow Indians. Serving in the army during World War II or in the VIETNAM WAR, some tried to gain the respect of their fellow soldiers only to collapse completely and dive into an ocean of solitude...

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...Gunn Allen, Paula. The Sacred Hoop, Recovering the Feminine in American Indian
Tradition. Boston: Beacon Press books, 1986.

Mc. Farland, R. James Welch. Lewinston (IH): Confluence Press Inc., 1986.

Momaday, N. Scott. House Made of Dawn. New York: Harper and Row, 1968.

Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony. New York: Penguin, 1977.

Stookey, Lorena Laura. Louise Erdrich : a critical companion. Westport (Connecticut): Greenwood Press, 1999

Welch, James. Winter in the Blood. New York, Harper & Row 1974

Imelda Martín-Junquera

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