Saturday, April 20, 2013

Native American Folk Tales

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As much as I would have loved to have talked about the Jewish folk tales, I just knew I had to talk about the Native American tales. I have always been interested in Native American culture and real recently I have been intrigued in justice issues pertaining to Native Americans. What I find to be very interesting about the situation as a whole is that no one is talking about it! Here we have people who are being marginalized and greatly ignored, and yet nobody really knows or care to know. Right now, it seems to be that the equality issues that are popular and fought for are those of women, African American, and homosexuals. I am in absolutely no way saying these are not important issues to be fighting for justice and equality in, but with such a large passion being stirred right now amongst many people, how come the Native Americans are still being marginalized. The issues of rights pertaining to them is being marginalized on the list of people being marginalized!... Sorry I kind of got off on a tangent. Back to folklore. I love Native American folklore. For my Senior year Honors History project I had to research N. Scott Momoday and his literary works. He is a brilliant author and a great advocate for his people. Through his novels and poems, he has been able to both show how rich in culture Native American's are, and also how they are struggling as a people. When I read the short stories and poems that he wrote, I feel in love with Native American tales. What I love so much about them is that it mixes in a lot of beliefs and explanations of why things are. Like in the tale we read of "How Men and Women Got Together", there is a wonderfully creative depiction of how though men and women may be different, they can come together and live, procreate, enjoy each others company, etc. Or like in the "How mosquitoes came to be" story you can see the same thing. I think what I see in these stories is more of an understanding of the necessity of culture preservation. These stories were told to teach children not necessarily only lessons, but also why it was important to live in the society and abide in the culture.  With the European stories we have read, they were only written down as a means to preserve culture, but it does not seem like they were told with that goal in mind. Overall, I love Native American folk tales and they will always have a special place in my heart.

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