The literature of the Native American people comprises mainly of oral and written works that are used to express their culture, history and philosophy. It is mainly concerned with how an individual sees the world and his or role in it. The use language, metaphors and imagery to preserve their culture. They are mostly molded around symbols from nature such as plants and animals, fire and water among others.
Storytelling was used by Native Americans as a way of passing down their traditions and customs to generations after generations. It was through storytelling that members of the community were made aware of survival tactics in their land. It is through this that children were taught of the ways of the society (Winstrom, para. 2).
It is through storytelling that natives Americans keep their language alive. When other nationalities invaded the Native Americans land, they then had to relocate to new and unfamiliar lands that was not their own. In such situations where they were now scattered, the Native Americans had to keep their language from going extinct. The only way that they could therefore achieve this was through storytelling (Winstrom, para. 4).
Native Americans used storytelling as a means of passing down wisdom to generations. Their oral traditions of storytelling allowed them to pass down their culture through their mythical, spiritual and historical understanding of themselves. Through this, this Native Americans were guaranteed that their members from all generations would never forget their culture and traditions. These stories were mostly intended to either explain phenomena or to teach individuals (Kroeber, p 9).
Native Americans preferred telling open ended stories. This was very vital as they highlighted this as a means of passing on their cultural values and traditions. They preferred their stories being retold to generations after generations so as to ensure continuity of their cultural values and traditions. to them this mattered more than anything else(Kroeber, p 9)
Social groups play various roles among individuals in a certain community. Such like roles is the proper coordination of what is expected of group members among the individuals who are the members of the Native American decent. In most cases you find that individual’s self-esteem and well being in close bound in social identities. The central part of maintaining this self-esteem is through internalizing and obedience of such group norms. It is through careful observations of such norms that an individual is identified. Such requirements do sometimes have prohibitions for those who tend to go against them (Dickson, p 3).
Behavioral guidelines to a great extend influence individual behavior through an effective causal mechanism. This is mainly because group members internalize group guideline and norms. Persons may suffer from emotional anxiety and low esteem when they tend to go against group norms that dictate how individuals should behave. This will then play a key role in shaping how the individuals behave (Dickson, p 3).
Through storytelling, those people of Native American origin can also identify with such stories that can trace their origin from those places. Such literary work in most case you find that they have a unique origin to those places of their origin. Stories about specific events and occurrences such as the myths in most cases you find that they are specific to only people of a particular origin. For example you find that the stories by Native American people are only unique to those people. In most cases, you will find that most of these stories are mythical stories.
In the Native American culture, for every time a story was told, it cultivated more into their culture and verbal language. Moreover it gave meaning to the people’s already rich history. It also gave meaning and sense to such like things as love, leadership and gave more teachings about the people’s symbolic connection to nature and all the animals that they depend on. In most cases you find that when these stories were told, they were accompanied with songs or dance or in some cases spoken word. Such like things you find that encouraged the deeper feeling of interconnectedness between community members and the nature that surrounds them ( Rajotte, para 2).
Most of the traditional tales in the Native Americans culture you find that most of the stories were mostly narrated by the old people. You will find that these stories were being narrated to people of the younger generation. This was mostly done so as to enrich the community’s culture, custom and norms into the younger generation by passing them on. This was a more like a continuous process whereby this young generation was also to master them so that they would also pass them on when they are old to the young generations of their time.
Although this old tradition of storytelling is fading in these modern days, you will find that most authors have taken the initiative to read and master them. They do this so that they will be able to tell them to generations to come. This is done in a bid to ensure that the community’s culture lives on even after the passing of the current generation of those people who hold the communities culture with them. Such stories once they are learned may be told In various forms including as myths. Storytellers in most cases connect the past with the future. This is done through the lessons that are carried across generations (Kroeber, p 13).
Storytelling is a major component of description and imagery and it carries a strong foundation through which native culture of the Native Americans is well understood. This can be seen through the diffusion of ideas and the people’s history through themes. It also keenly describes the role of women in protecting the cultural norms and values of the people and the community as a whole. The role of women can be clearly seen in that in the native traditional cultures such as the Native American culture, roles were well subdivided among individuals. For example, men were mandate mainly with hunting and gathering while women would remain at home to take care of the homes and children. It is during such times that women would sit down with the children and start storytelling. They would educate them about the core values required of them as they grow up (Bruchac, p 55).
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