Reading and Study Guide for Return of the Bones

•  What law passed by Congress allows the Native Americans to reclaim bones and artifacts taken from their lands?
•  Hollow-Woman's words in the last sentence of Chapter One reveal so much about the relationship between Grandfather and Hollow-Woman. What are the various reasons why Grandfather and Hollow-Woman have a broken relationship? How have each of them coped over the years? What does each of them hope to get out of their road trip to retrieve the family skeletons?
•  Who unburied the Pecos bones from their sacred resting place and for what purpose? The dig was the dawn of American ________?

•  In Hollow-Woman's dream, when she first visits the Pecos Pueblo, there is a foreshadowing of what's to come for the Native Americans. Who arrives at the pueblo and how is the danger revealed?

•  Spain was a fanatical Catholic kingdom when it ventured into the New World. Even the Madonna, the Lady of Light representing the Mother of God was called La Conquistadora . This image says it all:

Discuss the monks and their view and treatment of the Indians.
Discuss the rich Spanish, who were not affiliated with the church, and their view and treatment of the Indians.


•  What was the relationship between the Franciscan Friars, and the governors and rich land owners? How did the Spanish Inquisition come into play?

•  What is the Trail of Tears ? What President of the United States allowed it and how was his act a stab in the back for the Cherokees?
•  What was the final straw for the Puebloans when they started to protest the Spanish?
•  By what means did Popé defeat the Spanish?

•  What are Katsinam or Kachinas? What is the significance of kivas to Puebloans?

•  What mistakes did Popé make after he helped defeat the Spanish and made himself governor?
•  Diego de Vargas was successful when the Spanish returned. Why?
•  The Pecos people and Grandfather believed the cause of the decline of the Pecos people was due to Montezuma's curse. How did “outside forces” contribute to their decline?
•  What two items did Grandfather inherit from their ancestors and pass onto Hollow-Woman? (besides the ruins of the Pecos Pueblo) (hint: one item is pictured below)

•  What is Shipapu and how do the Puebloans view the creation of man.

•  Who offered money for Native American bones and skulls? How do you think men reacted to this monetary reward?
•  Native Americans are so in tune to nature compared to most other Americans. How is this revealed in the book? (Hint: think about the afterlife and Grandfather.)

•  Why did some Puebloans cut off the boot of Onate's bronze statue in 1998?
•  What does Grandfather mean when he says: “ And tell me of the wine of life; would you rather have just a sip or two bottles, though you pass out in your own vomit? ”
•  Who was Hollow-Woman's dream catcher?

•  The End of the Trail statue at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City represents the surrendering of the Plains Indians to the White Man.

Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce surrendered with this speech:
“I am tired of fighting.  Our chiefs are killed.  Looking Glass is dead. Toolhulhulsote is dead.  The old men are all dead.  It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led the young men is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets.  The little children are freezing to death.  My people, some of them, have run away to the hills and have no blankets, no food.  No one knows where they are--perhaps freezing to death.  I want to have time to look for my children and see how many I can find.  Maybe I shall find them among the dead.  
Hear me, my chiefs.  I am tired.  My heart is sick and sad.  From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”
How do the Pueblo peoples differ from the Plains Indians?
How are they similar when it comes to their conquerors?