Segments in this Video

"The Bear" (03:24)


Hear N. Scott Momaday's poem. The author participates in a photo shoot.

"House Made of Dawn" (04:38)

Early in the day, Momaday determines whether he will write or paint. He recalls winning the Pulitzer Prize and recites "The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee." Experts reflect on Momaday's storytelling abilities.

Rainy Mountain Creek Homestead (07:00)

Momaday was born in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl; his daughter Jill recalls visiting the homestead. Momaday and Jill discuss Momaday's mother Natachee and her meeting of Al Momaday.

The Story of the Seven Sisters (03:57)

Writing comes naturally to Momaday; his mother always kept books and his father told stories of the Kiowas. He discusses the story about Devil's Tower and a Kiowa elder naming him Rock Tree Boy.

"The Way to Rainy Mountain" (04:06)

Momaday writes about the land sacred to the Kiowa. He discusses Native American morale when they were forced to resettle on reservations and blood memory; Jill recalls visiting the mountain.

Kiowa Identity (03:21)

Momaday, Gus Palmer, and Simon Ortiz discuss the tribe's oral tradition. Momaday recites an excerpt from "House Made of Dawn."

The Story of Tai-Me (07:08)

Tai-me refers to the Sun Dance Spirit. Hear excerpts from "The Morality of Indian Hating," "The Way to Rainy Mountain," and the poem "Fort Sill." Rilla Askew reflects on how Momaday expresses the political. Experts discuss the Kiowa's defeat at Palo Duro Canyon.

Momaday's Art (04:05)

Painting is a form of spiritual expression. Momaday discusses several images, the history of painting, and his father's influence; he hopes his work is disturbing.

The Story of Man-Ka-Ih (02:33)

Momaday discusses the Kiowa's story of the storm spirit and violent storms in Oklahoma. He recites "Plainview One."

Impressionable Years (04:55)

Momaday recalls his parent's teaching on Indian reservations, moving to Jemez Pueblo after WWII, and attending four high schools; riding a horse connected him to his ancestors. Hear an excerpt from "The Morality of Indian Hating."

"The Indolent Boys" (07:34)

Beau and Jeff Bridges discuss the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and working with Momaday to tell the story of forced assimilation; they produced "The Moon in Two Windows."

Jemez Red Mesa (04:22)

Momaday recalls walking through the Pueblo ruins and climbing the mesa; he has no recollection of how he got down. Moments that are mysterious and spiritual provide inspiration for Momaday's work. Hear an excerpt from "House Made of Dawn."

Native American Literature (09:04)

Momaday has written poetic pieces since he was a child; song and prayer in the Indian tradition contains poetic elements. He discusses writing "The House Made of Dawn"; the novel reveals the impact of World War II on tribal cultures. Native history is often written by non-natives.

Story of America (06:43)

The 1960s was a turbulent period in the United States. Momaday discusses opposition to the Vietnam War; writing about government is not in his nature. Experts reflect on society when "House Made of Dawn was published" and the novel's impact; hear an excerpt.

"The Man Made of Words" (09:11)

The lack of respect and reverence for the land places the world in trouble; Native Americans have a vested interest in nature. Momaday reflects on humanitarian crises and storytelling; see clips from several speaking engagements.

Credits: N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear (01:45)

Credits: N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear

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N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



When N. Scott Momaday won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize, it marked one of the first major acknowledgments of Native American literature and culture. Now, Momaday’s words come to life in this biography of a celebrated Native American storyteller.

Length: 85 minutes

Item#: BVL203116

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.