Native American Renaissance

Published on November 28, 2012 by Amy

Love this article and want to save it to read again later? Add it to your favourites! To find all your favourite posts, check out My Favourites on the menu bar.

Native American Renaissance
Native American Renaissance

The Native American Renaissance is a term originally coined by critic Kenneth Lincoln in the 1983 book Native American Renaissance.

dna testing, dna ancestry testing, ancestry, genealogy, indian genealogy records, paternity testing, turquoise jewelry, native american jewelry

Literary work

Lincoln’s focus in The Native American Renaissance centers on the exploration of the significant increase in production of literary works by Native Americans in the years following the publication and critical acclaim garnered by N. Scott Momaday’s novel House Made of Dawn, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969.

Early works of Native American authors

Prior to the publication of House Made of Dawn, few Native Americans authors had published works of fiction to large readership.

Writers such as William Apess, Pauline Johnson, John Rollin Ridge and Simon Pokagon published works to little fanfare in the nineteenth century.

Mourning Dove, John Milton Oskison, John Joseph Mathews, Zitkala-Sa, Charles Eastman and D’Arcy McNickle published literary works in the years prior to the onset of WWII; however, these works were relatively few in number.

The Renaissance

In the work Native American Literatures: An Introduction, author Suzanne Lundquist purports the Native American Renaissance as coming in three forms:

  • Reclamation of heritage through literary expression
  • Discovery and reevaluation of early texts by Native American authors
  • Renewed interest in customary tribal artistic expression (i.e. mythology, ceremonialism, ritual and the oral tradition of narrative transmission).
  • Lincoln points out that in the late-1960s and early-1970s, a generation of Native Americans were coming of age who were the first of their respective tribal communities to receive a substantial English-language education, particularly outside of standard Indian boarding schools, as well as in colleges and universities. Conditions for Native people, while still very harsh during this period, had moved beyond the survival conditions of the early half of the century.

    The beginnings of a period of historical revisionism attempting to document the history of the invasion and colonization of the North American continent (particularly the Wild West) era) from a Native American perspective inspired a great deal of public interest in Native cultures and within Native American communities themselves.

    As a result, a group of young Native American writers emerged in the fields of poetry and novel-writing. These writers worked to expand the Native American literary canon in the span of a few short years.

    At the same time, the sudden increase in materials and the development of Native American Studies Departments and programs at several universities such as The University of California, Los Angeles and Dartmouth College, led to the foundation of scholarly journals, such as SAIL (Studies in American Indian Literature) and Wíčazo Ša Review. The influx in interest in Native American writing led to the establishment of publishing imprints such as the Native American Publishing Programme (Harper and Row), which aimed to promote continued interest in new Native American voices and publication opportunities.

    Source: wikipedia Unabridged
    Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
    Cite This Source | Link To Native American Renaissance
    Add these citations to your bibliography. Select the text below and then copy and paste it into your document.

    American Psychological Association (APA):

    Native American Renaissance Unabridged. Retrieved May 25, 2015, from website:

    Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

    Native American Renaissance Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia (accessed: May 25, 2015).

    Modern Language Association (MLA):

    "Native American Renaissance" Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia 25 May. 2015. <>.

    Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):, "Native American Renaissance" in Unabridged. Source location: Native American Encyclopedia Available: Accessed: May 25, 2015.

    BibTeX Bibliography Style (BibTeX)

    @ article {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com2015,
        title = { Unabridged},
        month = May,
        day = 25,
        year = 2015,
        url = {},
    You might also like:

    Tags:  , , , ,

    Facebook Comments

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Latest Articles
    Did You Know?

    Freeze dried food is a Native Invention. The Inca of Peru used to preserve potatoes using a freeze-dry process. They would put them on mountain terraces, and the solar radiation and extremely cold temperatures created a freeze-dried product that lasted indefinitely.

    In the Spotlight
    Most Favourited Posts
    Photo Galleries
    Native American Tribe TsawatenokNative American Tribe SpokanNative American Quotes IIIFamous Native Actors