The poem/story of Pa'caya'nyi continues, with the people realizing that they need to ask forgiveness and discovering Hummingbird who tells them that three worlds down there is plenty to eat.


The narrative does not progress in a neat linear fashion. Although we do follow Tayo from his return to the reservation through some unspecified period of time until he is cured, the temporal succession of the episodes in the novel does not correspond to the progression of real time. Rather, the episodes in the novel are narrated as Tayo thinks of them. With one of Tayo's problems being his inability to neatly separate and categorize his memories, the order of the episodes in the novel is equally confusing. The narrative shifts back to Tayo's time in the Philippines, to his early days back on the reservation, and to his childhood at unpredictable and often un-marked moments. In addition to reflecting Tayo's own mental state, these shifts represent the cyclical nature of life, and the ways in which the past and the present are intimately, but often strangely, related.

In this section, we find the narration of two bar scenes intertwined. In the primary narrative, Tayo and Harley go to the bar. In the secondary narrative, Tayo remembers an earlier moment when he, Harley, Emo, and Leroy went to the same bar. These two narratives are also interrupted by stories from Tayo's childhood and by poems. While some of the poems in the novel stand alone or are picked up only a few times, one in particular will be continued throughout. This is the story of Pa'caya'nyi and how the people were tricked by his witchery into abandoning their mother corn, which resulted in a great drought. In the course of the poem, the people search for a way to get their mother and the rain back. Similarly, Tayo feels that he has caused the drought on the reservation, and his recovery will be intimately linked to the ending of the drought.

Racism plagues the Native American population. In the 1940s and 1950s, when the novel is set, racial segregation was still widespread in the United States, and racist attitudes were widely tolerated, even sanctioned by the state. The result of years of institutionalized racism for much of the Native American population is its internalization. Tayo describes the problem of internalized racism as he points out that his friends never think to blame the whites for the way they were treated before and after the war, but instead blame themselves.

Although Tayo is plagued with many of the same cultural conflicts as his friends, he has always maintained a certain belief in the Native American traditions. In some ways, this makes his experience much more difficult. Tayo could not easily succeed in the school system like Rocky. He cannot simply drown his troubles in idealized memories of the war with Harley, Emo, and Leroy. However, Tayo' s belief in the old ways also offers him a chance to be cured in a way much more profound than that achieved in drunkenness. His experience at the spring is the first indicator that his belief in the stories he was told as a child can help him in the present.