Literature Study GuidesThe Way To Rainy Mountain

The Way to Rainy Mountain | Study Guide

N. Scott Momaday

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Course Hero. "The Way to Rainy Mountain Study Guide." March 22, 2018. Accessed July 6, 2020.


Course Hero, "The Way to Rainy Mountain Study Guide," March 22, 2018, accessed July 6, 2020,


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N. Scott Momaday

Year Published





Memoir, Nonfiction

At a Glance

The Way to Rainy Mountain was written by Native American author N. Scott Momaday. It recounts not only his story of going to his homeland upon the death of his grandmother, but also the tribal history and folklore of the Kiowa people. It is a unique text in that it combines folklore, history, and memoir—all crafted by a writer whose fiction was awarded one of the most revered literary prizes: the Pulitzer Prize, in 1969. The text is of interest to readers of history, literature, and folklore, and it provides information of interest to anthropologists, as well.

Perspective and Narrator

The Way to Rainy Mountain is told in three voices: ancestral oral tradition, historical commentary, and personal commentary. The ancestral and historical are primarily in third person, but the personal commentary is typically in first person (although there is occasional third person).

About the Title

"Rainy Mountain" is the Kiowa name for "the single knoll [that] rises out of the plain in Oklahoma, north and west of the Wichita range." Momaday notes in his prologue that "the way to Rainy Mountain is preeminently the history of an idea," and further, "it has old and essential being in language." The title The Way to Rainy Mountain is about a journey, and the Kiowa story is one of migration. Rainy Mountain was also where Momaday's grandmother, Aho, lived.


This study guide and infographic for N. Scott Momaday's The Way to Rainy Mountain offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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