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Native American Storytelling

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Native American Storytelling

I watched the mini series Centennial inspired by the book written by James A. Michener’s. That made me interested in Native Americans. I watched the t.v. show called the Real West, and noticed that Native Americans did not write things down, they passed stories down by verbally telling the younger people in the tribe about things. I am under the impression that a lot of what was written historically was written in the white man’s perspective. They did draw pictures to account for how good a hunting season and how the year had been.

I recall that Natives chose people that were good at remembering things and retelling stories as the ones to pass them down. I think that they would gather the children around and have one adult tell them about things. I know that if I lived in a Native society back in the 1800’s I would be considered smarter, because it would not matter if I could read or write. It is not till recently we hear more of their side of the story when it comes to the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Most of the stories featured animals and stories about courage and other positive human traits.

Who were the more well known story tellers? Are there any modern day Native story tellers? What was it like for a young Indian to hear stories told by the wise older leaders? What is the winter count all about? I would like to see what a winter count looks like.

What powerful herbs did they find in their environment? Are the pictures that the photographer, I think by the name of Curtis, accurate in their portrayal of Native Americans of that time period. Do any of their stories foretell anything? Did their stories reflect what the medicine men saw in their visions? Are their stories out there about their war paint?

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