Story telling cannot be ignored at any cost in the present times. There origin dates back to the ancient times. The stories were delivered orally or by word of mouth. The stories talked about the general lives of a specific community. This is in terms of their cultural practices. The stories were aimed at passing important life lessons to the audience. Story telling has however been challenged in the recent times. This is as a result of decline in number of native language speakers. Thelifestyle among some of the native people has also changed.This paper seeks to show or rather explain how Native American literature is rooted in story telling culture.
Keywords: storytelling, storyteller
Storytelling has been part of the literature world for a very long time. The stories have been important in the sense that they have been used to pass important messages from generation to generation. The stories are aimed at instilling some discipline in an individual. The disciplines may be in various fields or aspects of their lives. For instance they can be used to pass a certain culture or practice of a certain community. Storytelling has helped a great deal in the conservation of culture and upbringing of responsible adults who have upright morals.
How Native American literature is rooted in storytelling culture
Definition of storytelling
Story telling can be defined as he relation of a tale to an individual or group of people through voice and projection(David, 1986). Storytelling shares many characteristics with dramas or reading stories loudly to an audience. In storytelling, the storyteller or narrator looks keenly at their audience which helps them in composing the story. The storyteller uses gestures which help in creating a series of mental images to the audience.
Storytellers have the ability of studying their audience and make the necessary adjustments. For example, the reception of the audience dictates the decisions which will be taken by the narrator (Fisher, 1995). Suppose the audience is sleeping the storyteller can choose to end the story or use other appropriate methods of keeping them awake.
Native American literature is rooted to the story telling culture in the sense that most of the writers during the 18th and 19th centuries joinedMurfree in writing local tales about mountain people (Derrien& Stokowski2014). This was enabled by the fact that they had the permission to use stereotypes freely in their fictional tales. Murfree’s success encouraged other authors to take Appalachia as their region of subject (Richard &Owen, 2008). Appalachia was a land of aliens as by the conception of many people.Fictions were clearly written down and published for the sole purpose of making profits. Some of the authors even never visited the mountains a visit.
After a careful study of the fictions, Charlotte Ross summarized the heartbreaking effect of the early literal miners(Florida, 2012). He said that he knew the mountaineer as a tall Anglo-Saxon who was by blood and inclination an undiluted pioneer. That perception damaged his writing reputation a lot.
Myths in native America.
Myths play an important role in the NativeAmericanreligion (Varner, 2007). Creation myths are he commonly known myths in the world. Most of the American natives believed the sacred world was a mystery. The native people were able to explain natural occurrences which happened daily. A good example of the occurrence can be weather related events, as well as their own beginnings. Like other cultures, NativeAmericansused story telling as a way of passing down, culture, customs, history and heritage. Native American literature features a combination of tribal myths and oral storytelling techniques. Many literature works are rooted in strong myths and symbolic archetypes.
The most known motif in native America is that of a young man who undergoes a ritual initiation and then completes a heroic act later on. The young man is often born under divine circumstances. He neither belongs to the European settlers nor even his native tribe. The hero then dies tragically and is later revered by members of his tribe (Takaki, 2012).Poems and tales contain distinctive storytelling and songlike lyrics. They also include narrations (Bloom, 2010). The conventions help a great deal in the sense that the audience will clearly get he intended message. The audience is then left to choose on whether to follow the morals learnt or not.
Social identity as used in storytelling.
Social identity can be described as an individual’s self-concept that has been derived from perceived from their membership in a relevant social group. Social identity helps a great deal in the sense that they simplify understanding from the audience (Conboy, 2006). The characters in the texts should also relate to their culture this will be very helpful in the sense that they will have proper knowledge of and this will lead to them narrating true facts.
The narrator should also make sure they use irony as this will help them invite the reader or audience to regard characters in a critical light.
Social identity is important in the sense that it will influence how positively or negatively the character is viewed by the audience. The narrators should also ensure that they use simple language which will be clearly understood by the audience or readers. This will help a great deal in ensuring that the message is well understood (Beardwood, 2010).
The historical events thatlead to what wasdiscussed at the beginning of this discussion tend to show how storytelling has evolved in to what it is today.The events are very helpful to the story in the sense that they shed enough light to the audience. This in simple terms means that the audience will be aware of the origin of the stories they are listening to or reading about. This is very important in the sense that culture and heritage will be maintained and this means well for the communities which are related to the stories.
Literature professors and other people connected to the field should ensure that thy input enough resource into the industry since storytelling is on the brink of collapsing.
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