This comes from a collection of essays, The Man Made of Words
, by N. Scott Momaday.
What I really liked about this story is that it has been passed down in an oral tradition and that it even exists today is through sheer luck. But maybe it is also a testament to the power of language. And in its own way this story is about language. The man is actualized when he speaks and his words are as dramatic as his fitting an arrow to the bow. I love the dramatic tension when the man says: "If you are a Kiowa, you will understand what I am saying, and you will speak your name.”
According to Momaday, "Precisely at this moment is the arrowmaker realized completely, and his reality consists in language. Implicit in his simple speech is all of his definition and all of his destiny, and by implication all of ours."
You can read this short essay here:http://books.google.com/books?id=HGm_w8 ... er&f=false