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Native American Literature Essay

1013 words - 5 pages

Native American Culture
Amanda Thaden-Fidjeland
December 21, 2015
ENG 301
Marc Bonanni

Storytelling is the writing of the past, living the present and preserving the future. As storytelling is changing due to changes in the tribal communities of the native people, the traditional form is threatened. Storytelling has been passed down from generation to generation and remains their main form of communication even after written word was commonly accepted. The Native Americans were divided in several groups and possessed their own customs and language. These tribes lived in regional groups and shared common culture and history. Storytelling was one of the most significant practices of the ...view middle of the document...

This system was complex, engaging and fascinating as it endured with segregation and assimilation at the same time. Unfortunately as the practice was completely based on oral narration, there are no tangible records. These stories did, however, do a great work in binding the people of the community and keeping them close to their roots.
The story telling among the Native Americans was the idea that started with the concept of discussing the past, living the present and defending the future. The essence of storytelling among the Native Americans came with the idea of transmitting their historical and spiritual understanding. This act of oral narration was mandatory and passed by the elders of the community to their successors. These stories gave complete insights of the values and lives of the Native people. The manifestation of which was to transmit to the people to stick to their roots and their sight of knowledge. This was the outcome of the strong believe system that the process would keep the community people in peace and harmony. These people also translated practical prescriptions and the stories were full of valour, humour, drama and mystery.
Identity was an issue of great importance to the Native Americans, it is clear that the storytelling was the most prominent and the primary part of the lives of the Native Americans. It not only helped to maintain and preserve their identities but also ensured their cultural survival. Thus, it would not be wrong to say that the storytelling gave an identity to the Native Americans. These stories not only gave the cultural and individual identities to the people but it also laid the foundation for the future generation. Therefore, it is important to understand that the story telling was not just restricted to a tradition but had a lot of significance. Storytelling is a diverse and powerful medium of imagery and description, and continues to provide the foundation of understanding Native culture through the diffusion of ideas and history through themes, as well as give guidance to the role of women as protectors of culture and values. The storyteller would pass down religious motifs and origin stories,...

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