Native Studies 120 – The Oral Tradition
Tradition is the first way people had of communicating
knowledge and beliefs from one generation to the next
storyteller presents a story and listeners take from it the ideas and lessons
that they can use
written language, it is very important to acknowledge the author; this
is not the case with oral works; it is not important who first told them.
is also accepted that the details of the story will change in some regard over
time; the lesson, or theme, however, remains.
o Legend – a
sacred story set in historical times. Tells about encounters between humans and
other beings – monsters, spirits and Kluscap. Can take place in the spirit
world or in the ordinary world we know.
Read “Kluscap and It-Is-Windy”
What lesson might be learned from the story about people’s relationship with
the environment? What might be learned, for example, from the water becoming
What lesson might Kluscap be teaching by untying just one of Wocawson’s wings?
***Creation Stories and Legends are considered to be
true; the yare sacred and used to teach truths about the world.
– tells about ordinary people or about animals who behave like people. Many are
humorous and point out human follies and weaknesses.
Read “The Tale of Eniqs – The Ant”
“tone” of storytellers is soft, evenly paced, steady and gently
powerful being who once lived in the Maritime region who now lives in a faraway
relative to all Wabanaki people; he has always been warm and generous to them
powerful forces of chaos and brought order to the world, making it a fit place
the geography of the land to make it more habitable:
tamed the wind (Wocawson)
drained a lake to dry out the Annapolis Valley
created the Reversing Falls in St. John
Would geologists agree??