Mobility at the Community Level By the 19 th century horses were a major part of the Pikuni lifestyle. Blackfoot Buffalo Runner
Mobility at the Individual Level In his essay ““He was going along”: Motion in the novels of James Welch”, John Purdy discusses movement in Fools Crow at both the individual and community levels. He points out that Welch’s characters move “through dreams, journeys and vision quests”, rather than just from place to place across the land in the conventional western sense (134-5).
Mobility at the Community Level “We stood on the dense green ice of the Fathead River and looked down between our slick-soled boots to the family trapped beneath us” (89).
Mobility at the Individual Level Louise is always running but all she wants is freedom. She is mobile only in the sense that she is forced to run from one temporary refuge to the next. “She scooped beneath a willow bush down beneath the layers of snow where summer grass had swirled a small tight nest. She pressed her feet into the cold pocket and crouch among the branches. Her grandmother had taught her how to stay warm, how to survive” (236).
Mobility in Education Education is the key to mobility. Why weren’t students allowed to travel beyond the schoolyard?
Horses in Perma Red “I watched Louise crawl up on that stallion’s broad bare back without a bridle, and the horse gave her a ride, the kind of ride I’ve seen cowboys take when they’re looking to win, a bucking hard ride that would land Louise flat on her bony ass. But the next day she was riding smooth, the horse and Louise like one” (27). Gives Louise and Baptiste mobility in a way cars cannot. Carries Baptiste to Louise. “He rode straight-backed and proud. He was wearing his finest silks. Silver bells trembled around the chest of his horse. Champagne’s beaded harness was glittering in the sunlight” (308).
“Once, there was a freedom of movement that defied the limitations of Western reason and logic, time and space…However, the modern life Welch depicts along the Highline, and in particular the towns that dot its path, is restrictive: an invisible snare baited with apparently limitless freedom of movement” (Purdy 141).
Works Cited Purdy, John. ““He Was Going along”: Motion in the Novels of James Welch”. American Indian Quarterly. 14.2 (1990): 133-145. JSTOR. Web. 16 Nov. 2010. Earling, Debra Magpie. Perma Red. New York: BlueHen, 2003. Print.