Choctaw Religion And Spirituality In Shell Shaker's Shakbatina

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Throughout the book, Shell Shaker, it is very evident to the reader that traditional Choctaw religion and spirituality shape the plot. LeAnne Howe uses important traditional aspects of Choctaw religion and spirituality to build her characters and overall plotline. First, LeAnne Howe makes it evident to the reader that Choctaw religion and spirituality are essential to the plot through the character of Shakbatina. In the beginning of the book the reader not only experiences Shakbatina’s death, but also has an insight into her ability to wake from the dead, which was an important belief of Choctaw spirituality. Shakbatina explains in chapter 1 her struggle to hold on to her life, but after giving up and dying she wakes up in a new time and era that has an unfamiliar language and is guided by the spirit of the animal (Howe, 16). Shakbatina’s death gave her freedom to what seems like time travel and appear in different centuries throughout the plot of the book. Her ability to travel through time is important for the plot because she is evident in both story lines and has the opportunity to narrate the different situations.…show more content…
Mother Porcupine is seen as a spiritual guide and spiritual protector for the main characters of the book. Mother Porcupine is the one that helps and guides Shakbatina into her new life and era after she dies (Howe, 16). Shakbatina from that point on is seen as an important figure that protects the Billy family from harm and other dangers. Mother Porcupine, also known as Divine Sarah throughout the novel, explains to the Billy family that she has come to warn them of other spirits and explains to them how she became their protector (Howe, 71). Mother Porcupine is essential to the plot because without her the overall plot would not make sense. She is essential to the survival of this family and the overall

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