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In Linda Hogan’s 1998 novel Power, much is learned about Native American
culture. The main characters, Omishto and Ama help reveal this culture. The
novel is divided into nine chapters. In Chapter 1, "Omishto," a girl is in a
boat that is floating on a pond. She notices that there is a storm coming in.
She describes the pond and the area around it. A snake tries to enter the
girl’s boat, but she pushes it out with a pole, and then she moves the boat to
land. As she does this, she feels something watching her, but does not want to
look in the direction. A woman named Ama has told the girl that she is in the
territory of "the cat" (3). The girl says that she has never seen the cat,
but Ama saved one when some boys had it treed. Ama took away the boys’ rifle.
The girl’s father named her Omishto, which means "one who watches."
Omishto’s grandmother says that Omishto has a wind inside her called Oni.
Omishto is careful on her way home because she can still feel something watching
her. Chapter 2, "Stormlight," opens with a story about a man named Abraham
Swallow. People believe that he died from fear or magic in some trees near a
canal. As Omishto walks toward Ama Eaton’s house, she recalls this story. Near
Ama’s house there is a tree called Methuselah that is 500 years old and was
planted by the Spanish. Methuselah is the only tree of its kind in the area. The
tree and Ama’s house sit on the edge of the Taiga land. Taiga is the name of
the Indian tribe to which Ama and Omishto belong. Ama’s house is old and looks
like it is decaying. As Omishto reaches Ama’s house, Ama tells Omishto to come
into the house. Omishto tries to sneak up on Ama, but Ama always hears her. Ama
and Omishto then sit on the porch together and discuss Abraham Swallow’s
death. Omishto tells Ama that she does not think magic killed Abraham.
Abraham’s wife thought that the old Taiga people had killed him with magic. In
Chapter 2, the reader also learns that the cat is the Florida Panther. The Taiga
people call it Sisa. People of the Panther Clan believe they are related to the
Florida Panther. Ama loves the panther and watches for it. Omishto’s mother is
jealous of Ama because Ama is close to the old Taiga ways. Omishto was told not
to visit Ama, but she still does. As the women continue to sit on the porch, Ama
asks Omishto if she dreamt the night before. Ama says that she did and goes
inside the house. She returns and tells Omishto that she dreamt about a sickly,
skinny panther. As Omishto and Ama sit on the porch, four women from the tribe
walk down the road, almost as if they are floating. Ama refers to them as
messengers. The two women then go inside. As they do, a storm starts. It is a
hurricane. They try to board up the house. Rattlesnakes start to come toward
Ama’s door, but Ama shuts the door on them. Omishto realizes that she has not
tied up her boat. She runs to do so, but struggles to get the boat ashore as she
slips in the mud. When the boat is ashore, Omishto ties it to a tree. Suddenly,
the wind is calm. It starts up even harder. Omishto is clinging to the ground.
The wind stops again. While it is still calm, Omishto tries to run back to
Ama’s house. The wind starts up again. Omishto can see Ama blown against the
outside of the house. She also sees Methuselah fall. After the storm, Omishto
realizes that her dress is in a tree, and she is naked. Snakes were flung
against Ama’s house during the storm. Janie Soto and Annie Hide, old women of
the Taiga tribe, would say this is a good sign. Omishto goes to the shed to get
a shovel because she wants to bury the dead animals. Ama gets Omishto a dress.
Ama sees a deer with a broken leg and tells Omishto that they are going to
follow it. Omishto thinks they are going to hunt it. Without knowing what it
means, Omishto says, "I know what will happen" (44). In Chapter 3,
"Take," the storm is over and a flood begins. The water rises into Ama’s
house. When the water recedes, Ama sweeps up
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American Medical Association, Ama, Storm
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