The book is about Native American culture, specifically the Kiowa. It tells the story of the author’s journey to visit his grandmother’s grave near Rainy Mountain. Each page is split into three segments. Momaday opens each section with a Kiowa myth, then follows up with a segment of historic fact. He then ties everything together by relating those things to his own experiences and childhood memories, most of which are universal in nature. He writes in a very straightforward poetic prose, which is easy to read but full of meaning.
There were always dogs about my grandmother’s house. Some of them were nameless and lived a life of their own. They belonged there in a sense that the word “ownership” does not include. The old people paid them scarcely any attention, but they should have been sad, I think, to see them go.
“The Way to Rainy Mountain” is beautifully written and carries profound messages, despite its short length. The stories of Tai-me, the Sun Dance, and buffalo hunts captivated my imagination, and were told with a great deal of reverence.
I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in Native American literature.