Ceremony | Study Guide

Leslie Marmon Silko

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Ceremony Study Guide." Course Hero. 1 June 2017. Web. 1 Oct. 2023. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Ceremony/>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2017, June 1). Ceremony Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved October 1, 2023, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Ceremony/

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)



Course Hero. "Ceremony Study Guide." June 1, 2017. Accessed October 1, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Ceremony/.


Course Hero, "Ceremony Study Guide," June 1, 2017, accessed October 1, 2023, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Ceremony/.

Ceremony | Characters

Character Description
Tayo Tayo is a battle-wounded Native American soldier returning to his reservation after World War II. To overcome the trauma of his experiences, Tayo must learn to reconnect with his Native American culture by completing a new ceremony. Read More
Betonie Betonie is a modern Navajo medicine man who believes cultural traditions must adapt in order to survive. Read More
Auntie Auntie raised Tayo from the age of four, although she was always ashamed of him. Auntie believes in cultural purity and rigid adherence to traditions. Read More
Emo A sadistic Laguna war veteran, Emo represents the destruction of Native American culture by white America. Read More
Ts'eh Ts'eh is believed to be the embodiment of a Laguna goddess, completely connected to the natural world and a representation of Native American culture. Read More
Josiah Tayo's Uncle Josiah believes society improves by mixing cultures. He started a romance with Night Swan and tried to breed a new type of drought-resistant cattle. Read More
Rocky Rocky is Tayo's cousin, with whom he enlisted in the army. Rocky rejected his Native American culture and the protections it offered, which is perhaps why he was killed in the war. Read More
Descheeny Descheeny is Betonie's grandfather, who married a mixed-race woman thought to be the embodiment of a goddess.
Floyd Lee Floyd Lee is the rich white man who stole Josiah's cattle.
Gambler In Laguna folklore, the Gambler stole the storm clouds, causing a long drought.
Grandmother Grandmother lives with Auntie and helps care for Tayo after the war. She is one of the only family members to show Tayo affection.
Harley Fellow Native American war veteran Harley is a friend to Tayo before falling under Emo's destructive spell. When he fails to bring Tayo to Emo, Emo tortures and kills him.
Helen Jean Helen Jean leaves her reservation but struggles to find work in Gallup. She dresses like a white woman when prostituting herself.
Hunter An important symbol in Laguna folklore, the Hunter is Ts'eh's brother.
Ku'oosh The old medicine man, Ku'oosh, tries to use his old ceremonies on the wounded veterans but finds they have lost their significance in the modern world.
Lalo Lalo is the bootlegger who introduces Josiah to his cousin Night Swan.
Laura Laura is Tayo's mother and Auntie's younger sister, who died when Tayo was four years old. Laura left the reservation and ultimately became a prostitute for non-Native tourists; one of these interactions led to Tayo's birth, which brought deep shame upon the family.
Leroy Leroy is a fellow Native American veteran who is an alcoholic.
Night Swan One of Ceremony's strong mixed-race female characters, Night Swan is Josiah's girlfriend. She also has sex with Tayo and teaches him to value his unique culture.
Pinkie Pinkie is Auntie's shepherd until he packs in his responsibilities to chase excitement in Gallup.
Robert Robert is Auntie's husband and Tayo's uncle. He takes over all the farm work after Josiah dies, even though he doesn't enjoy the work.
Shush Shush is thought to have been raised by bears until Betonie saved him and made him his helper.
Spider Woman In Laguna folklore, Spider Woman is the creator.
Ulibarri Ulibarri sells Josiah the cattle he will use to create a new breed.
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Ceremony? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!