Conflict of Culture in The Man to Send Rain Clouds

The Man to Send Rain Clouds demarcates the cultural divide between the Christians and the Native Americans. Father Paul, the Christian Priest continuously tries to assert his authority and enforce the Christian traditions and culture on the native people. The cultural rift between the Priest and the Pueblo tribe is lucidly manifested and manipulated in the very first conversation of Leon and Father Paul. Leon brushes aside the conversation about Teofilo by asserting to Father Paul that everything is alright. Believing everything to be okay, Father Paul tries to show pastoral care to Leon that an old man like Teofilo should not be left alone with the sheep. Through this, Father Paul is not only forcing his authority but also undermining the culture of Pueblo tribe by misinterpreting the status of elders among them. However, both Leon and Ken find these remarks natural and Leon replies that this would not happen now. Without really understanding his undertones, Father Paul assumes his supposed authority and asks them to come to the Christian mass prayer along with Teofilo. This further strengthens the fact that he does not have anything to do with Teofilo’s well-being but is more concerned about the expansion and dominance of his culture.

Further, in the conversation with Leon after hearing about the demise of Old Teofilo, Father Paul asserts the need of burial according to the Christian tradition, again ignoring the Pueblo culture. Leon softly refutes the urgency of such customs and instead persuades him only to sprinkle holy water for the greater good of their tribe. Here again, we see Father Paul bidding to stamp his authority and force his culture on the Pueblo tribe. And it is only when he realizes that he is unable to force Leon to do burial in accordance with the Christian culture that he relents to sprinkle holy water on the grave. This scene again portrays Father Paul as the preacher of his Christian culture only. On first hearing about the demise of Old Teofilo, he is not shocked or grieved instead insists Leon to have told him earlier so that he could have brought the “last rites anyway”. So much skeptical is he towards the Pueblo tribe that he wonders whether they are playing any trick by faking the death of Old Teofilo. The fact “it took him a long time to twist the lid off the holy water” manifests his unwillingness to perform the ritual as he was not able to mark his supremacy among the Pueblo tribe.

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