Please put cell phones away during class unless being used to consult 

course material. 

What does the term "humanities" mean?

The umbrella term "humanities" includes fields of study such as philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history, and language. 

The humanities study how people process and document the human experience through philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history, and language to understand and record our world.  (Stanford University)


HUM 101 Intro to the humanities is divided into 3 rubrics, each with a specific focus: 

Rubric One: "The First Civilizations and the Classical Legacy" focuses on ethical philosophy, considering texts,  

beliefs, and codes of conduct from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Greece, and Rome.

Rubric Two: "Medieval Europe and the World Beyond" focuses on religious architecture, considering stupas, 

mosques, basilicas, and cathedrals.

Rubric Three: "The European Renaissance, the Reformation, and Global Encounter" focuses on  literature, 

with a particular emphasis on Native American oral storytelling.


RUBRIC ONE: The First Civilizations and the Classical Legacy

Rubric focus: ethics philosophy

Chapter 1


Khan Academy video: "Ancient Mesopotamia" 

Crash Course World History: "Mesopotamia" 



Comprehension questions for the Epic of Gilgamesh 

1. Who are the main characters?

2. What is Gilgamesh's position in society? Why is this important?

3. Who are the parents of Gilgamesh? Why is this important to understanding the story?

4. Describe Gilgamesh's behavior at the beginning of the story.

5. What purpose does the character Enkidu serve in the story?

6. Why do Gilgamesh and Enkidu go on a quest? 

7. How do Enkidu and Gilgamesh insult Ishtar? 

8. What purpose does Enkidu's death serve in the story? 

9. Suggest reasons why Gilgamesh reacts to Enkidu's death the way that he does.

10. Who is Utnapishtim-the-Faraway and what advice does he give Gilgamesh?  

11. Why do the gods send the Flood and why does Utnapishtim escape? 

12. What does the behavior of the gods who send the Great Flood tell you about the nature of the 

      Mesopotamian gods?

13. How does Gilgamesh lose the rejuvenating plant?

14. How does Gilgamesh react to losing the plant?

15. What purpose does losing the plant serve in resolving the basic conflict presented in the story? 

16. What has Gilgamesh learned from his quest? (This is the theme of the story.)


🗣 🗣 🗣 Small group discussion prompts

1. First discuss your reactions to the Code in general.

2.  Next choose one clause that your group finds particularly important for stable life within a community. Discuss the significance of the clause and try to determine the reasoning behind it: what is its purpose? 

3. Now choose one clause that your group finds biased. Is the code also unjust? Explain your reasoning on both points.


Khan Academy: "Mesopotamia and the Hebrew Bible" 

🗣 🗣 🗣 Small group discussion: Discuss your responses to the short writing assignment you prepared for today's class. 


Discussion: Ma'at, Books of the Dead, Weighing of the heart ceremony, Negative Confessions

1. Who was Ma'at? What concept did she represent?

2. What is a Book of the Dead?

3. What was the main purpose of a Book of the Dead?

4. What was the weighing of the heart ceremony? What is its significance?


🗣 🗣 🗣 Small group discussion

1. Consult the list of Confessions in our textbook. (For a complete list, click here; scroll down to find the 


2. According to the Negative Confessions, what kinds of actions did the Egyptians consider inappropriate?

3. Consider each confession as a law with a purpose. What is that purpose? 

4. Next consider what would motivate citizens to follow this code of behavior.

5. Which point(s) of the Negative Confessions do you find most important to maintaining harmony 
    within community?

6. How does the social code suggested by the Negative Confessions compare to contemporary codes of 

     social behavior and morality with which you are familiar?

⚖️ More about justice in ancient Egypt: "The Representation of Justice in Ancient Egypt," by J.G. Manning


Chapter 3 (not covered Winter Quarter 2020)

Crash Course World History #6 (up to 5:22 only)

🗣 🗣 🗣 Small group activity: Consult your textbook to respond to the following questions.

1. What are the Vedas

2. What is the Mahabharata?

3. What are the Upanishads?

4. What does the term "pantheism" mean?

5. What is the difference between Brahman and Atman?

6. What is the law of Karma?

7. What is nirvana?

🗣 🗣 🗣 Small group discussions

A. Review Reading 3.1, discussing passages that are unclear to members of your group.

B. Respond to Fiero's question at the end of the reading: "What are the obstacles to the state of 

   enlightenment, according to Krishna?" Cite specific lines from Reading 3.1 to support your responses.

C. Compare the social codes suggested by this reading with those represented in the Epic of Gilgamesh

   Hammurabi's Code, the Decalogue, and the Egyptian Negative Confessions.


Chapter 4

"to flourish" = "to grow or develop in a healthy way, especially as the result of a favorable environment”

synonyms: to thrive, to prosper, to do well

🗣 🗣 🗣 Small group discussion prompt

Identify several specific characteristics of a society that promotes the well-being of its citizens, for individuals and for the community as a whole. 

CH4, pages 76-100

CH4, pages 101-112

Aristotle.virtues-vices-mean.pdf Aristotle.virtues-vices-mean.pdf
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🗣 🗣 🗣 Small group discussion prompts

1. Think of a specific situation we encounter in daily life that requires a choice of action.


2. Identify the actions available to you. Do any of them represent an extreme (a vice)? If so, what vice(s)?

Examples of vices named by Aristotle: greed, selfishness, laziness, stinginess, vanity, rudeness, 

cowardliness, foolhardiness 

3. Identify the mean for your specific example: What is the best course of action for the circumstances and for  

    the individual(s) involved?  

4. Next explore how that mean can change: Discuss how the mean is relative to the situation and to the 

    individual(s) involved in the situation.


[Chapter 5 not covered]


Chapter 6

Discussion Prompts

1. Identify specific reasons why the Romans were so successful in building and maintaining 

   such a large empire for so long. (Fiero 139-40)

2. How did Gaius Julius Caesar bring stability back to Rome? (Fiero 141)

3. Identify 2 significant points concerning Roman law. (Fiero 143)

4. What is the Pantheon? (Fiero 155-57)

5. What are some of the beliefs of Roman Stoics? (Fiero 143-44)

6. Who was Lucius Annaeus Seneca (aka Seneca the Younger and Seneca)? (Fiero 144)


View "The philosophy of Stoicism" with Massimo Pigliucci, listening for the following key points:

1. The founder of Stoicism (i

t wasn't Seneca)

2. The Stoic virtues 

3. The core of Stoicism

Read the textbook pages concerning Stoicism and Roman philosopher Seneca; read the excerpt from Seneca's "On Tranquility 
of Mind." Then respond to the questions below.

1. According to Seneca, why is it necessary for us to correctly assess our character, our strengths and our weaknesses? 
[to assess = to evaluate the nature or quality of someone or something]

2. According to Seneca, why is it essential for us to correctly assess those with whom we interact? 

3. What qualities does Seneca suggest we seek in our friends?

4. Seneca and Stoics in general maintain that one's disciplined use of a very specific human capacity is vital to      one's peace of mind. What is that capacity?

5. Is Seneca's Stoic philosophy anchored in the past, the present, or the future? Explain.

6. What specifically does Seneca name as the "greatest source of affliction to humanity"? Why?

🗣 🗣 🗣 Small Group Activity

The Stoics distinguished what is under our control from what is not under our control, focusing on the first and

ignoring the latter, so that our satisfaction does not depend on things beyond our control. Develop a practical 

example where this distinction can be usefully applied. Share your example with the class. 

For further exploration of Stoicism:

Pop philosopher Alain de Botton: "Seneca on Anger" 


Chapter 7

Follow this link. 


Medieval Europe and the World Beyond

Chapters 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14

Rubric focus : religious architecture

Chapter 8

🗣 🗣 🗣 Using the textbook, work with your group members to locate responses to the questions below. 

Note the page number, column, and paragraph(s). Prepare a written response to each question, using your 

own words; do not simply quote Fiero's text.

1. What three different cultural traditions set the stage for the rise of Christianity?

2. Identify the religious belief systems that Jesus and Siddhartha Gautama reformed.

3. In the context of Buddhism, what are the Four Noble Truths?

4. In the context of Buddhism, what is the "middle way"?

5. Which belief system, Christianity or Buddhism, focuses on human perfection and immortality?

6. Identify the goal of the other belief system (it's not immortality).


Chapter 9 

Khan Academy video: "Early Christianity" 


Using your textbook, locate information to define, identify, or explain the following. Be sure to note the page, 

column, and paragraph(s).

  • Constantine
  • the Edict of Milan
  • Byzantium, Constantinople, and Istanbul
  • Augustine of Hippo
  • Justinian and Theodora
  • Hagia Sophia
  • iconography
  • the Iconoclastic Controversy

Above: plan of Roman 

basilica (Rome, Italy)

Right: plan of Christian 

basilica San Vitale 

(Ravenna, Italy) 

Above le
ft: plan of Christian basilica then Islamic 

mosque Hagia Sophia (Istanbul, Turkey)

Above right: plan of Christian basilica Saint Sernin 

(Toulouse, France)


Chapter 10

Crash Course History of Science: "The Medieval Islamicate World"  

["Islamicate" is an adjective used to describe regions where Muslims are culturally dominant.]

🗣 🗣 🗣 Small group study 

A. Locate the paragraph on page 233 (7th ed.) that discusses Charles Martel and the battle of Tours in 732. 

Discuss the significance of this event. Studying the map on page 227 may help your analysis.

B. Turn to page 235. What does the term "Islamic" indicate?

C. Study the information about Islamic culture (science, technology, poetry) on pages 235-237 of the Fiero 

textbook. Make a list of significant points concerning the following categories:

theocratic rule
preservation of technology 
transmission of technology 
original scholarship 


Cite specific examples where possible.

D. Discuss the impact of these contributions across time and cultures.


Khan Academy article: Common types of mosque architecture 

Two well known examples of Islamic architecture that are not mosques

The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem 

The Taj Mahal mausoleum in Agra, India 

The 3 principle architectural styles of Islamic mosques 

1. The hypostyle mosque

Mosque of Uqba (Kairouan, Tunisia)

Read about the Great Mosque of Kairouan here (not required reading).

Córdoba (Spain)

Read about the Great Mosque of Córdoba here (not required reading).

2. The iwan mosque (1-4 iwans)

Read about the Great Mosque of Isfahan here (not required reading).

3. The centrally-planned mosque, also called the central-dome mosque

Mosque of Selim II (Edirne, Turkey)

Example of contemporary mosque architecture, with a blending of styles: King Faisel Mosque in Islamabad, 



1. Based on the images we've seen, what features do mosques typically have in common?

2. Islamic mosques are not decorated with images of people. Instead, what decorative motifs and techniques 

    are used?

Suggested links for further exploration of this idea:

"The Psychological Effect of Architectural Design," by Natali Ricci (Senior Thesis, Claremont McKenna College) 

"The Hidden Ways That Architecture Affects How You Feel": BBC article by Michael Bond

Architecture Now article (2017): "Sacred Spaces" 

Suggested Critical Analysis topic: 

What is the function of light and space in places of worship? Cite specific examples to support your ideas.

You may prefer to discuss the role of light and space in public places. Use specific examples.


Chapter 11

Video on medieval society by Ryan Reeves, Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Gordon-

Conwell Theological Seminary (not required viewing)

🗣 🗣 🗣 GROUP ACTIVITY focused on Chapter 11, pages 250-267 (7th edition of our textbook)

Divide into 4 groups to discuss the following points and questions about the Middle Ages (circa 500-1450 CE). 

Each group is responsible for identifying responses to 4 points, then sharing the group's ideas with the rest of 

the class.


1. Why is it inaccurate to refer to the Middle Ages as the "dark ages"?

2. Identify the 3 traditions that together produced a new culture.

3. What similarities did Germanic law have with Hammurabi's Code from ancient Mesopotamia?

4. What do Beowulf and the Song of Roland have in common?

Listen to an excerpt from Beowulf in Old English here.


5. Who was Charlemagne?

6. Identify several of Charlemagne's notable accomplishments.

7. Briefly explain the feudal contract between lord and vassal.

8. What was the code of chivalry?  


9. What role did women play in feudal society?

10. What is a chanson de geste? Give an example.

11. What was the Norman Conquest? When did it take place? What did it change?

12 What does the Bayeux tapestry depict? Who made it?


13. Where and when was the Magna Carta signed? What is its significance?

14. Describe the lives of medieval serfs.

15. What were the Christian Crusades?

16. Did Charlemagne fight in the Christian Crusades? Give facts supporting your response.


FEUDALISM in medieval Europe and the Song of Roland

Code of chivalry

To fear God and maintain His Church

To serve the liege lord in courage and faith

To protect the weak and defenseless

To aid widows and orphans

To refrain from the wanton giving of offense

To live by honor and for glory

To despise pecuniary (monetary) reward

To fight for the welfare of all

To obey those placed in authority

To guard the honor of fellow knights

To eschew (avoid/refrain from) unfairness, meanness and deceit

To keep faith

To speak the truth at all times

To persevere to the end in any task undertaken

To respect the honor of women

Never to refuse a challenge from an equal

Never to turn the back upon a foe

General Comprehension Questions: Song of Roland

1. What type of literature is the Song of Roland?

2. When did the historical event happen?

3. When was the Song of Roland composed? 

4. Who are the principle characters in the story excerpt?

5. What two groups oppose each other in the Song of Roland

6. What are the main points of the story (what happens)?

7. What is the disagreement between Roland and Oliver?

8. Why does Roland refuse to call for help on his olifant (horn)?

9. Why does Roland sound the horn after his guard has already suffered defeat? 

   (This section of the poem isn't included in Fiero's excerpt.)

10. The poem presents both Roland and Oliver as role models. The ideal knight is a balance between the 

     characteristics of Roland and those of Oliver. Name those characteristics, referring to specific lines in the 

     poem excerpt to support your remarks. 


1. What does the text reveal about Christian attitudes towards Muslims (Saracens) during the Middle Ages? 

How are the Saracens portrayed? Cite specific passages to support your remarks.

2. How did the Franks (Christians) view their relation to God in the Song of Roland?


[Chapter 12 not covered]


Chapter 13: "Medieval Synthesis in the Arts"

What does the chapter title mean?

Medieval Romanesque architecture 

  • emerged in Western Europe in the early 11th century.
  • was characterized by rounded arches; thick walls, vaults, and columns.
  • lasted until the advent of Gothic architecture in the middle of the 12th century.
  • Early Romanesque ceilings and roofs were often made of wood.

Examples of Romanesque architecture and sculpture are available in Chapter 13 of Fiero's Humanistic Tradition.

Medieval Gothic architecture 

  • emerged in the middle of the 12th century
  • was characterized by: stone structures, large expanses of glass, clustered columns, sharply pointed spires, intricate sculptures, pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses

Examples of Gothic cathedrals  

The ideals of medieval Gothic architecture included:

1. A belief that the church structure must be a visible “text”

2. Mathematical Harmony: a belief that sacred reality was reflected in the truths of math, proportion and 


3. Luminosity: a strong emphasis on light as a symbol of divinity and the light of revelation

Respond to the following questions for a quick review of basic points:
1. Which of the following is not true about Gothic cathedrals?
a. The Gothic features of the cathedral emphasized the idea that the building was a divine space.

b. Gothic architects tried to maximize the space for stained glass windows. The development of rib vaults       

    and flying buttresses made this easier.

c. An important symbol in this church is the light, which was considered as a symbol of divine presence.

d. The architect used rounded arches, thick walls, and massive piers to support the weight of the                    

    building internally.

2. What is the basic, symbolic shape of a Gothic cathedral?
3. Pointed arches, flying buttresses, and rib vaults are all features of Gothic architecture. What did these  
   features allow architects to do? 

Explore further (not required):

Gothic cathedral Notre-Dame-de-Paris 


Chartres Cathedral (UNESCO)     

The Royal Portals of Chartres Cathedral   

NYC's St. Patrick's Cathedral  

Chapel of the Cross 

Gothic architecture on the American college campus   

    Below left: West façade of Chartres Cathedral (Chartres)             Below right: West façade of Notre-Dame (Paris)


Chapter 14

Video lecture: Classical Japan  

🗣 🗣 🗣 What does the reading from Lady Murasaki's diary tell us about the court culture of Japan?

🗣 🗣 🗣  Feudalism in Japan and feudalism in Europe developed in response to the need for security and 

stability. Everyone had well-defined social roles. Both systems preserved law and order, but were marked by 

extreme inequality, poverty, violence, and very little social mobility

Identify and discuss similarities and differences between the two feudal systems. Consider the following:

1. the hierarchical social structure 

2. the lord/warrior-vassal relationship 

3. the role of gender

4. the philosophy of death

Recommended (not required) viewing, listening, and reading:

1. Read the Diary of Murasaki Shikibu here. 

2. Listen to Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji on LibriVox (not required for this course).

3. Watch a film segment on Murasaki Shikibu from The Ascent of Women: A 10,000 Year Story, via WCC Library's Films on Demand

4. Watch Japan Under the Shoguns from Video Education America, via WCC Library's Films on Demand

5. Watch Samurai Japan from Video Education America, via WCC Library's Films on Demand

6. Learn about Samurai armor

map of Japan

Part one

1. Name 4 people we studied in this rubric who made substantial contributions to the world in which they 

lived. Also: identify the contributions made by those 4 people.

2. Identify 2 factors that contributed to the spread of Christianity.

3. Identify 3 principle characteristics of each of the following:

a. Buddhist stupas

b. Islamic mosques

c. Christian Gothic cathedrals.

4. Identify 2-3 similarities between Islamic mosques and Christian cathedrals.

5. Identify 2-3 differences between Islamic mosques and Christian cathedrals.

6. Identify the name and location of at least one Buddhist stupa, one Islamic mosque, and one Christian 

Gothic cathedral referenced in this rubric.

7. Explain how the Song of Roland represents the medieval European feudal system. 

8. Identify 3 scientific or technological contributions made by Islamic or Arab civilizations.

9. Identify the date and significance of each of the following: 

a. the Edict of Milan 

b. the Norman Conquest (Battle of Hastings)

c. the Magna Carta

10. The teachings of the Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammed share some common points. Identify at least 2.

Part two

Working in small groups, compose 5 questions about Rubric Two material. It would be useful to consult 

the exam study guide posted on Canvas for this activity!

When everyone is ready, each group will challenge the other groups to respond to their questions.


Choose 1 answe

RUBRIC THREE: The European Renaissance, the Reformation, and Global Encounter

Chapters 15, 16, 18 + supplemental material

Rubric focus: literature (oral and written)

Group discussion prompts:

1. What is literature?

2. How are literature and culture connected?

3. Name some story forms with which you're familiar.

4. Name some stories with which you're familiar. Explain what you find relatable about them.

5. Why do we listen to (or read or watch) stories?

Watch John Branyan perform his version of "The Three Little Pigs," then identify some of the storytelling 

techniques he uses. Next discuss why you understand the story even though you may not understand some of 

the vocabulary terms and the syntax he uses. Finally, try to identify aspects of Branyan's storytelling that may 

not be relatable to some listeners or viewers.

Chapter 15

Boccaccio and "The Tale of Filippa"

1. Identify 3 notable points about Boccaccio and explain their significance.

2. What do the two readings from Boccaccio reflect about the culture and time period in which he lived and 

wrote? Refer to specific quotations from the reading to support your response(s).

3. The circumstances that Boccaccio sets up in his "Tale of Filippa" aren't realistic for the time period in which 

the story takes place. For instance, most legal systems imposed a monetary fine on someone found guilty of 

adultery; ecclesiastical punishment included separation or a loss of part or all of the dowry. Being burned at

the stake was not a punishment. What then is Boccaccio showcasing about the historical period of his story? 

What does the court scene allow him to depict?

Christine de Pisan and The Book of the City of Ladies

1. Watch "Christine de Pisan, the first feminist" from the Irish Audio Project, noting at least 4 significant points.

2. Share with the class the points you noted and explain why you find them significant.

3. In your small groups, study the organization of Christine de Pisan's argument in our excerpt from The Book 

of the City of Ladies

   a. Outline the sequence of her ideas. 

   b. How does she present her thesis? 

   c. What is her overall objective? 

   d. What specific examples does she give to support her reasoning? 

BBC broadcast on Christine de Pisan (not required listening)


Chapter 16 

Discussion prompts:

1. During the European Middle Ages, is the focus on humankind or on a divine external force?

2. In the ancient Greek and Roman philosophies we studied, is the focus on humankind or on a divine external 


3. Where is the focus in the Buddhist, Islamic, and Confucian belief systems we've considered?

4. Why is it important to learn about context when studying different aspects of a culture?

5. What influences our perception and understanding of a culture?

Reading 16.5 (Lucretia Marinella)

Before discussing the questions below, locate online definitions for these terms used by Marinella:

specious (adj.)

to reprove (v.)

to vituperate (v.)

continence (n.)

Cite specific passages in the reading to support your responses to the following:

1. What is Marinella's objective in this text? 

2. Marinella divides the false, slanderous accusations made against women into 2 categories. What are they?

3. Why won't Marinella respond to some arguments maligning women?

4. How does Marinella explain the errors that intelligent, educated men make about women?

5. Identify the passage in the reading that discusses invalid, inductive reasoning.

Here's an example of an invalid, inductive argument to jog your memory: 

"Every chicken I've seen is brown. Therefore all chickens must be brown." 

6. How does Marinella use the arguments of men to illustrate her point? 

7. What does the excerpt from Marinella reflect about the culture and time period in which she lived 

    and wrote? Refer to specific quotations from the reading to support your response(s).



[Chapter 17 not covered]


Chapter 18

Required viewing:

1. Crash Course video, via a Big Think article on the Manden Charter of the Mali Empire

[The video is also available here.] 

Open the pdf below to read the post-viewing questions

CrashCourse Mansa Musa.pdf CrashCourse Mansa Musa.pdf
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SUNDIATA KEITA: Reading 18.1 discussion prompts

1. Who are the central figures?

2. Where and when do the events take place?

3. What happens and why?

4. Who is speaking in lines 1-43? What is being said and why?

5. How does the conclusion, lines 278-294, tie into the beginning of the story?

6. Group 1: Summarize lines 44-61 and explain the significance of the passage (why it matters to the story).

    Group 2: Summarize lines 62-160 and explain the significance of the passage.

    Group 3: Summarize lines 161-191 and explain the significance of the passage.

    Group 4: Summarize lines 192-270 and explain the significance of the passage.

7. Watch a performance of the Sunjata (Sundiata), with musical illustrations, here.

As you watch the performance, take notes on the storytelling elements that work together to create the whole. 

Consider: the performers, instruments, voices, lighting, camera, images, costumes, gestures, etc.

Exploring further: CONGO TALES: Told by the People of Mbomo  

a multimedia project that highlights the mythical histories of the people of the Congo Basin 

through photography and film


To consult a tribal nations map created by Aaron Carapella (Cherokee Nation), with both the 

original and commonly known names of Native American tribes, click here. 

Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg 

in Massachusetts 

Post-viewing questions

1. How does Roger Fernandez define storytelling?

2. What two types of learning does he discuss?

3. According to Fernandez, what can storytelling do that science cannot do?

4. Some stories appear in multiple cultures around the world. What explanation does Fernandez give for   


5. What does Fernandez say about the role of the individual listener in the storytelling experience?

6. What is the relationship between science and the stories of a culture, according to Fernandez?

7. What does he say about the different levels of meaning in a story?

"Rabbit's Wish for Snow": Narragansett tale, told by storyteller Tchin (Siksika and Narragansett)

Post-listening questions

1. What storytelling techniques does Tchin use?

2. What lessons does the story teach?

"Rabbit": told by Gene Tagaban (Tlingit, Cherokee and Filipino)

Post-viewing questions

1. What storytelling techniques does Gene Tagaban use in the 2 stories he tells?

2. How does Tagaban use music in his storytelling?

3. What does Tagaban do that immediately engages his listeners in the storytelling experience?

4. Which story is anchored in modern times?

5.  What lessons are taught in the story of "Rabbit"?

6. What lessons are taught in the story Tagaban tells about his grandmother?

🗣 🗣 🗣 Discussion prompts: The Haudenosaunee Confederacy

1. Who are the Haudenosaunee?

2. What tribal nations make up the Haudenosaunee Confederacy?

3. What is the Great Law?

4. Was the Great Law originally transmitted orally or in writing? 

5. What is a clan?

6. Identify three (3) main points about Haudenosaunee clans.

7. What does the Great Law explain about peace?

8. What is orenda?

9. In your small groups, read the lists concerning Haudenosaunee values, mores, ethics, philosophy, and 

beliefs. What connections can you make between Haudenosaunee values and values of other cultures we've 

studied this quarter? Be specific.

🗣 🗣 🗣 Discussion prompts: "Hodadenon: the last one left and the chestnut tree"

1. What is the setting of the Hodadenon story?

2. Who are the characters in the story?

3. Where are the other family members? Cite specific passages from the story’s beginning and end to support 

your response.

4. Hodadenon’s uncle makes sure his nephew is sleeping before he prepares dinner for himself. What does 

this tell us about the uncle?

5. Identify three (3) specific examples of Haudenosaunee philosophy and values in the Haudenosaunee story, 

"Hodadenon: the last one left and the chestnut tree."

6. This is a coming of age story that represents Hodadenon’s transition into an ideal citizen of the 

Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Cite specific passages in the story that demonstrate his evolution from a 

mischievous, self-centered child to a responsable, engaged, and caring member of his clan.


Whatcom Community College is located on the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish Peoples, who have lived in the Salish Sea basin, throughout the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades watershed, from time immemorial. 

Maiden of Deception Pass, Guardian of Her Samish People (DVD viewed in class, also available on the Reserve 

shelf of the WCC Library and online)

Cedar wood sculpture of Ko-kwahl-alwoot 

Rosario Beach (WA)

Samish, Skagit, and Swinomish land 

Read and/or listen to the tale here and/or here. (Note: this will familiarize you with the story, but not with the 

content of the documentary film Maiden of Deception Pass, Guardian of Her Samish People.)

Post-viewing questions for Maiden of Deception Pass: Guardian of Her Samish People

1. What is the purpose of this documentary?

2. Who was Ko-kwal-alwoot?

3. What is the significance of the Ko-kwal-alwoot story to the Samish people?

4. What is the significance of the family in Samish culture?

5. Why was the story pole created? Be specific.

6. Who carved the story pole?

7. For a long period of time, the Samish were not recognized as a tribe by the United States federal
   government. Why?

8. Why did so many Samish people move away from the region where they had lived for so long?

9. What was Tracy Powell's initial reaction when he first saw the cedar log for the story pole?

10. Where is the story pole located?

11. What do the two sides of the story pole represent?

12. What is the significance of the Maiden of Deception Pass story pole project to the Samish Indian Nation?

🗣 🗣 🗣 Discussion prompt

What do the Native American stories we’ve considered have in common? Identify at least three points and give 

specific references from the stories to support your ideas.

Exploring further:

April Charlo's "Indigenous Language Revitalization" (TEDxUMontana) 

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