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News of the World


A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family,...
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Discuss News of the World by Paulette Jiles:
Why do you think Johanna's Kiowa family took her in and raised her? Why would they give her up? How do you think they felt when they let her go?

Created: 07/25/17

Replies: 12

Posted Jul. 25, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

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Why do you think Johanna's Kiowa family took her in and raised her? Why would they give her up? How do you think they felt when they let her go?

Imagine the perspective of Johanna's Kiowa family. Why, do you think, they would've taken her in and raise her? Why would they give her up? How do you think they felt when they let her go?


Posted Jul. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

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RE: Why do you think Johanna's Kiowa family took her in and raised her? Why would they give her up? How do you think they felt when they let her go?

According to the Handbook of Texas Online, the practice of captive-taking among North American Indians goes back to prehistoric times. Centuries before white men came, captives were taken from neighboring tribes to replenish losses suffered in warfare or to obtain victims to torture in the spirit of revenge. When warfare developed between Europeans and Indians, white captives were taken for the same reasons and, in addition, to hold for ransom or to use to gain bargaining power with an allied European government or colony. Centuries later after Indian warfare broke out with whites in the 1830s, many settlers underwent Indian captivity.
Indian raiders killed captive children who lagged behind when the Indians were pursued. Children who arrived safely at the Indian village, however, usually were adopted as replacements for deceased relatives and thereafter treated as true sons or daughters.
Many Texas captives were rescued or ransomed by relatives, Texas Rangers, soldiers, Indian agents, or traders. When the Comanches and Kiowas were driven onto reservations north of the Red River and compelled to release their prisoners, many captives had become so completely assimilated that they chose to stay with their captors.
Johanna's adoptive family felt sorrow as would any family would if they had to give up a child they called their own.


Posted Jul. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 169

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RE: Why do you think Johanna's Kiowa family took her in and raised her? Why would they give her up? How do you think they felt when they let her go?

I loved rennet's historical facts about the captives. Very informative. She was probably taken in by the Kiowa family to replace a lost member or, perhaps, to work for the family. It seemed they loved her though as Johanna has positive memories of her Indian mother and family. They gave her up because it wasn't good for them to have white captives. It made them a target.


Posted Jul. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lesleyf

Join Date: 05/14/11

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RE: Why do you think Johanna's Kiowa family took her in and raised her? Why would they give her up? How do you think they felt when they let her go?

The Kiowa were seriously threatened by the Army. The consequences were likely not worth one white child despite the grief experienced by her Kiowa mother. Fifteen Hudson's Bay four-stripe blankets and a whole pile of pure silver would be worth up to about $15k in today's market - the blankets alone being about $10k.


Posted Aug. 05, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 256

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RE: Why do you think Johanna's Kiowa family took her in and raised her? Why would they give her up? How do you think they felt when they let her go?

It wasn't unusual for the Indians to keep captives and for them to become members of a family. I'm sure it was hard for the Kiowa to give her up but they had no choice. The Federal solders were on the search for white captives and used violence to free them.


Posted Aug. 05, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Sooz

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 42

RE: Why do you think Johanna's Kiowa family took her in and raised her? Why would they give her up? How do you think they felt when they let her go?

I too enjoyed reading the interesting information posted by renem above where it was noted that the Kiowa often took in captive children to replace deceased relatives and then raised them as their own. They sorrowfully had to give Johanna to the Agent or lose their rations and suffer other punishment from the cavalry. Thus, they had no choice in the matter. Obviously, they considered her to be part of their family and took it very hard as any parent would when forced to hand over their child to strangers. The Kiowa mother cut herself and cried loudly at having to give Johanna away.


Posted Aug. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 87

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RE: Why do you think Johanna's Kiowa family took her in and raised her? Why would they give her up? How do you think they felt when they let her go?

A big thank you to 'Renem'! I've often wondered why some children were killed and others adopted. It doesn't make the act any less terrifying for the victim, however.


Posted Aug. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sandra54

Join Date: 05/01/13

Posts: 48

RE: Why do you think Johanna's Kiowa family took her in and raised her? Why would they give her up? How do you think they felt when they let her go?

The Kiowa appeared to keep someone when they were useful and when the became a burden or put them at risk they got rid of them.


Posted Aug. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Cynthia

Join Date: 06/07/17

Posts: 36

RE: Why do you think Johanna's Kiowa family took her in and raised her? Why would they give her up? How do you think they felt when they let her go?

I learned a lot about Indian captivity in these responses. I had wondered why the Kiowas would kill one child and keep another, and understand why the Kiowa leadership would be more willing to give her up during this time because it put all tribe members at risk. However, I believe her immediate family, regardless of the hazards and potential consequences, reluctantly, heartbreakingly let her go, kicking and screaming. She was a beloved member of the family.


Posted Aug. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
josephinej

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 31

RE: Why do you think Johanna's Kiowa family took her in and raised her? Why would they give her up? How do you think they felt when they let her go?

I wondered why they took Johanna but killed her sister. It seems, because of how Johanna reacted to being rescued, that she was really cared for with the Kiowa's, and how could they feel anything but sad.


Posted Aug. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
flute4u

Join Date: 08/14/13

Posts: 30

RE: Why do you think Johanna's Kiowa family took her in and raised her? Why would they give her up? How do you think they felt when they let her go?

At a time when survival of the fittest best describes the relationship of the Kiowa to their captives, Johanna was able not only to adapt, but to be very fit. I think she also provided a kind of curiosity with her blue eyes and blond hair that intrigued them. As a trusting and loving relationship grew, Johanna became a member of the clan, but her appearance always made her stand out. I think this might be one reason the tribe was willing to trade her for money and goods.


Posted Aug. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 186

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RE: Why do you think Johanna's Kiowa family took her in and raised her? Why would they give her up? How do you think they felt when they let her go?

Thank you renem for your informative comment. It clarified for me why some children lived while others were killed. I feel sure that Johanna's Kiowa family gave her up with deep regret in order to avoid the consequences keeping her would bring about.


Posted Aug. 13, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 73

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RE: Why do you think Johanna's Kiowa family took her in and raised her? Why would they give her up? How do you think they felt when they let her go?

The Kiowa had a tradition of taking children to boost their numbers and strength. It was how they survived. But at that time, the Army was putting pressure on the Native American tribes and many feared reprisals, for good cause. This was the same time period that saw tribes being slaughtered by the Army. Giving up Johanna was torture to the Kiowa family who had raised her. They cut her arms as a sign of how much it cut them to lose her. It was a representation of their pain and her separation. But they had no choice. They could not risk the entire tribe for her.


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