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Oban on Native American Indian Culture and Values


This story revolves around a beautiful girl from a native Indian American village and her encounter with the bear people. Throughout the story, the traditional believes that native Indians held about bears are clearly articulated. The bear has always been part of Native American Indian culture and mythology. Native Indians associated the brown bear, the spirit bear, and the grizzly bear with various cultural meanings that captured their day-to-day lives. It was universally agreed in the Native Indian culture that bears possessed spiritual power and in some cases, they were regarded as gods. Numerous Native American stories exist, that cast bears as strong creatures that are good at hunting and that have the power to transform into human beings.

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They regarded them as close relatives of human beings whose only difference was the hairy coat they wore. They have to that effect, stories that tell of intermarriages between human beings and bears. According to Bloom, traditional Native American Indian culture cast bears as creatures that understand human language besides possessing a language and culture of their own (p. 90).


Native American Indian culture was characterized by values that emphasized respect and harmony in society (Johnson, p. 139). From the story, it is clear that the Native American Indians treasured quietness, patience, religion, and exercising caution. Quietness was valued because it contributed to survival. In the story, the girls insisted on maintaining silence to avoid annoying bears, a clear tactic of survival. Similarly, patience was also valued as a survival virtue. Peesunt especially portrays this value after she is forced to marry the bear chief’s nephew to escape sure death by angering the chief. Additionally, the Native American Indian culture emphasized respect for a personal opinion as a way of maintaining mutual respect.


In traditional Native Indian societies, both males and females played different roles. Some tribes were patriarchal while others were matriarchal (Smith, p. 103). In this case, the society is patriarchal as evidenced by the leadership of male chiefs. The roles of men included hunting, negotiations, and waging war to protect society while women were charged with taking care of the family. In that regard, they gathered fruits and food, raised the children, and treated the sick.

Value orientations

From the story, it is clear traditional Native American Indian societies highly regarded leadership and authority and it was considered impolite to question the decisions made by the chief. For instance, Peesunt could neither question the bear chief nor her husband. Besides, the story highlights the value attached to mutual respect among the native Indian Americans. In the story, this is portrayed through the constant urging of Peesunt by the other girls to be quiet so as not to disturb the animals.

Cultural dimensions

From the story, it is evident that most traditional Native American Indian societies were hunter and gatherer societies. This is evidenced through Peesunt and her friend’s trips to the forest to pick berries and the decision by the community’s hunters to respect any bear they killed after Peesunt escaped with her cubs.


Though the transformation of bears into human form and back is popular in Native Indian folklore, it’s a bit odd and makes little sense in reality. However, it is interesting to see the impetus it was given in the Native Indian society and the role it played in educating people.

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Works Cited

  1. Bloom, Harold. Native American writers. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2010. Print
  2. Johnson, Troy. Contemporary Native American political issues. London: Altamira Press, 2000. Print.
  3. Smith, Merril. Women’s roles in eighteenth-century America. ABC-CLIO, 2010.Print.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 5). Oban on Native American Indian Culture and Values. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2022, January 5). Oban on Native American Indian Culture and Values.

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"Oban on Native American Indian Culture and Values." StudyCorgi, 5 Jan. 2022,

1. StudyCorgi. "Oban on Native American Indian Culture and Values." January 5, 2022.


StudyCorgi. "Oban on Native American Indian Culture and Values." January 5, 2022.


StudyCorgi. 2022. "Oban on Native American Indian Culture and Values." January 5, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Oban on Native American Indian Culture and Values'. 5 January.

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