Sunday, April 21, 2013

Native American Folktales

Native American Folktales are different from stories originated in Europe in the way they put an emphasis on illustrating their tradition and custom. In many stories, they portray the way of surviving through hunting by men or embroidery by woman. They distinguish men and women, as in “How Men and Women Got Together”, men were stronger and taller, and they had sharp sticks to get more food, while women had fine tipis made of tanned buffalo hide and had beautiful clothes. It is quite obvious to see in many Native American stories that there exist many elements related to nature (plants, animals) as they were what people stay close with all the time. 

The magic element is mostly based on their belief. For example, they believed in another life after dead, and the soul transferred from the body of one to another. The spirit was the centre of their belief and had a great power and guided people to the right way of living. In Deer Hunter and White Corn Maiden, the spirit governed the life and dead of people, decided destiny and punished those whom were against the tradition. However, the magic did not dominate in any story that most of stories bring reader back to the reality in the end.
Many stories’ endings aim at explaining some nature phenomenon. The ending that Deer Hunter and White Corn Maiden were turned into two stars is to explain the origin of two stars in the west sky that they saw in the evening. The ending of “How Mosquitoes came to be” explains why those creature sting people to get blood and they begin the scratch themselves.
Native Americans live according to the tradition. For most of people, the tradition is the basis for them to live. Any story always involves a strong sense of community. People in Native American Stories live in a group, go on a journey to get recognition of the community or live for the benefit of other people in the community. This is also to pass down lesson and maintain the tradition so that young generation was aware of their ancestor and continue their way of living.

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