Ceremony

Ku’oosh Character Analysis

A Pueblo Laguna medicine man. He performs a healing ritual on Tayo, but admits to Tayo that the old rituals no longer work in the modern world as they used to. Indeed, the ceremony provides Tayo with only partial healing. But Ku’oosh also seems to recognize that there is the possibility of creating new ceremonies, even if he himself is not the one who can create them. He connects Tayo with Betonie for just this reason.

Ku’oosh Quotes in Ceremony

The Ceremony quotes below are all either spoken by Ku’oosh or refer to Ku’oosh. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Interconnected World Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of Ceremony published in 2006.
Section 2 Quotes

“But you know, grandson, this world is fragile."
The word he chose to express "fragile" was filled with the intricacies of a continuing process, and with a strength inherent in spider webs woven across paths through sand hills where early in the morning the sun becomes entangled in each filament of web.

Related Characters: Ku’oosh (speaker), Tayo
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:
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"There are some things we can’t cure like we used to,” he said, "not since the white people came. The others who had the Scalp Ceremony, some of them are not better either.”

Related Characters: Ku’oosh (speaker), Tayo
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ku’oosh Character Timeline in Ceremony

The timeline below shows where the character Ku’oosh appears in Ceremony. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 2
The Interconnected World Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Cultural Dominance, Purity, and Hybridity Theme Icon
Old Grandma sends for Ku’oosh despite Auntie’s protests that a medicine man will reignite gossip about Tayo’s mother and her... (full context)
Native Americans in the Modern World Theme Icon
Ceremony, Tradition and Adaptation Theme Icon
Cultural Dominance, Purity, and Hybridity Theme Icon
Ku’oosh asks Tayo about his experience in the white people’s war, and tells Tayo that Tayo... (full context)
Storytelling Theme Icon
Ceremony, Tradition and Adaptation Theme Icon
Tayo is dejected after Ku’oosh leaves, convinced that his actions in the war cannot be cured. Auntie comes in with... (full context)
Section 4
The Interconnected World Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
...is feeling better and can help Robert with the ranch work. Robert tells Tayo that Ku’oosh thinks he still needs more healing. (full context)
Native Americans in the Modern World Theme Icon
Ceremony, Tradition and Adaptation Theme Icon
Ku’oosh has sent Tayo to Gallup to see a medicine man named Betonie. Gallup is known... (full context)
Section 7
The Interconnected World Theme Icon
Native Americans in the Modern World Theme Icon
...Tayo to gather her more Indian tea leaves and reminds Tayo to go talk to Ku’oosh and the other veterans when he can. (full context)
Section 8
Storytelling Theme Icon
Ceremony, Tradition and Adaptation Theme Icon
Cultural Dominance, Purity, and Hybridity Theme Icon
Tayo sits in a kiva with Ku’oosh and the other old men of the tribe. Tayo tells his story in full, with... (full context)
The Interconnected World Theme Icon
Cultural Dominance, Purity, and Hybridity Theme Icon
At noon, the men eat a hearty lunch and Ku’oosh builds up the fire in the kiva. Ku’oosh tells Tayo to stay in the kiva... (full context)
The Interconnected World Theme Icon
Cultural Dominance, Purity, and Hybridity Theme Icon
Auntie avoids Tayo now that Tayo has visited Ku’oosh, saying that the other women from the church come to her daily wondering how she... (full context)