The Way to Rainy Mountain


N. Scott Momaday

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The Way to Rainy Mountain Characters

N. Scott Momaday

Momaday is the writer and narrator of this memoir, and, as such, is its central character. He is of Kiowa anscestry, but he does not speak the Kiowa language and he was born after the… (read full character analysis)

The Kiowas

The Kiowas are a nomadic tribe of plains Indians that migrated to the southern plains (parts of present-day Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico) from western Montana in the seventeenth century. From the mid-eighteenth to mid-nineteenth… (read full character analysis)


Tai-me is the central figure of the Kiowa Sun Dance, which is the ritual that was the centerpiece of Kiowa spiritual life until its discontinuation in the late nineteenth century. Tai-me is a small doll… (read full character analysis)


Aho is N. Scott Momaday’s grandmother, and, outside of Momady himself, she is the central figure of the memoir. Aho passed down her memories of the Kiowas to Momaday, and, as such, much of… (read full character analysis)


Mammedaty is N. Scott Momaday’s grandfather. He was a peyote man, which meant he oversaw an important Kiowa religious ritual. Mammedaty was a well-respected and important man in the tribe, but his presence in… (read full character analysis)
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Thecrows are a tribe of Indians who helped the Kiowas during their southward migration from Montana. Their historical lands are in the Yellowstone River Valley in Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota. As the Kiowas moved… (read full character analysis)

James Mooney

James Mooney was a white American anthropologist who researched American Indians at the end of the nineteenth- and beginning of the twentieth-century, most notably by living with the Cherokee for several years. He wrote prolifically… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
The Comanches are a plains Indian tribe who were close with the Kiowas during the Kiowa golden age—in fact, the two tribes ruled the southern plains together for a century. It is from a Comanche mispronunciation of a Kiowa word that the Kiowas derive their name.