FEC Leo Hayes High School > Teachers > Posts > oral traditions
April 22
oral traditions

Native Studies 120 – The Oral Tradition


o   Oral Tradition is the first way people had of communicating knowledge and beliefs from one generation to the next

o   The storyteller presents a story and listeners take from it the ideas and lessons that they can use

o   In 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.

o   It is also accepted that the details of the story will change in some regard over time; the lesson, or theme, however, remains.


o   Creation Story


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”

Q: 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 stagnant?

Q: 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.


o   Tale – 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”


o   The “tone” of storytellers is soft, evenly paced, steady and gently rhythmic.









o   A powerful being who once lived in the Maritime region who now lives in a faraway place

o   A relative to all Wabanaki people; he has always been warm and generous to them

o   Defeated powerful forces of chaos and brought order to the world, making it a fit place to live


o   Changed 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??


o    ​


There are no comments for this post.