The Way to Rainy Mountain

Aho 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 Momaday’s knowledge of the tribe comes from her. Aho was born at the end of the Kiowa golden age, and she was present at the last Sun Dance. She lived her whole life in Oklahoma within sight of Rainy Mountain, but her knowledge of the Kiowa oral tradition made her able to tell stories of the Kiowas that date back to their time in the northern plains. Aho signifies the human side of memory and history; the once-vibrant Kiowa culture was able to survive and be passed on because it lived on within her.

Aho Quotes in The Way to Rainy Mountain

The The Way to Rainy Mountain quotes below are all either spoken by Aho or refer to Aho. 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:
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the University of New Mexico Press edition of The Way to Rainy Mountain published in 1976.
Introduction Quotes

Although my grandmother lived out her long life in the shadow of Rainy Mountain, the immense landscape of the continental interior lay like memory in her blood.

Related Characters: N. Scott Momaday (speaker), Aho
Related Symbols: Rainy Mountain
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:
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My grandmother was there. Without bitterness, and for as long as she lived, she bore a vision of deicide.

Related Characters: N. Scott Momaday (speaker), Aho
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Their wives and daughters served them well. The women might indulge themselves; gossip was at once the mark and compensation of their servitude. They made loud and elaborate talk among themselves, full of jest and gesture, fright and false alarm.

Related Characters: N. Scott Momaday (speaker), Aho
Page Number: 11-12
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Setting Out Quotes

It was not an exclamation so much, I think, as it was a warding off, an exertion of language upon ignorance and disorder.

Related Characters: Aho
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
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Aho Character Timeline in The Way to Rainy Mountain

The timeline below shows where the character Aho appears in The Way to Rainy Mountain. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Introduction
Origins, Linearity, and Circularity Theme Icon
...that he had first returned to Rainy Mountain last July after the death of his grandmother, Aho, whom he notes was said to have looked like a child—despite her old age—in... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Memory and History Theme Icon
Origins, Linearity, and Circularity Theme Icon
Aho is Momaday’s entry-point into the tribe’s history; she was born at the last great moment... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Memory and History Theme Icon
Nature, Landscape, and Animals Theme Icon
Momaday returns to Aho, writing that though she lived her whole life by Rainy Mountain in Oklahoma, she could... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Memory and History Theme Icon
Origins, Linearity, and Circularity Theme Icon
Nature, Landscape, and Animals Theme Icon
...Tower, a striking stone landform with striated edges that look like clawmarks. He recalls his grandmother’s recounting of a Kiowa legend about Devil’s Tower, in which a child turned into a... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Memory and History Theme Icon
Nature, Landscape, and Animals Theme Icon
Mixing of Cultures Theme Icon
Momaday notes, also, that his grandmother became a Christian later in life, though she never forgot her history. She had attended... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Mixing of Cultures Theme Icon
With his grandmother now only existing in memory, Momaday attempts to describe what was characteristic of her. Prayer... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Memory and History Theme Icon
When his grandmother was younger, Momaday remembers that her house was always full of chatter—Momaday suggests that this... (full context)
The Setting Out
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Memory and History Theme Icon
Origins, Linearity, and Circularity Theme Icon
Nature, Landscape, and Animals Theme Icon
Mixing of Cultures Theme Icon
...ground in battle regardless of the cost. Momaday then remembers the dogs that frequented his grandmother’s house. They were “nameless and lived a life of their own,” but people appreciated their... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Memory and History Theme Icon
...tribe returns, saying that each twin had a ring now, and they again disobeyed their grandmother by throwing the rings and running after them into the mouth of a cave. In... (full context)
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Origins, Linearity, and Circularity Theme Icon
Nature, Landscape, and Animals Theme Icon
...according to the voice of tribal lore, killed a big snake in their tipi. The grandmother spider cried when they told her, because the snake was their grandfather, and then the... (full context)
The Going On
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Nature, Landscape, and Animals Theme Icon
...and wracked by violent weather at others. Momaday then remembers the storm cellar by his grandmother’s house. He says he has seen it storm so hard that a grown man couldn’t... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Memory and History Theme Icon
Nature, Landscape, and Animals Theme Icon
...Mountain, and how during the summer he would live in an open arbor at his grandmother’s house. When winter would come and he would return to the house, he would feel... (full context)
The Closing In
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Memory and History Theme Icon
Aho once went to see the wife of the keeper of the Tai-me bundle, the tribal... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Memory and History Theme Icon
Origins, Linearity, and Circularity Theme Icon
Nature, Landscape, and Animals Theme Icon
East of Aho’s house is the unmarked grave of a woman who was buried in a beautiful dress,... (full context)