Native American Storytelling Tradition

The earliest Native American educators were the Storytellers. The Native American storytelling tradition goes back for centuries and was and is a way for the history of Native Americans to be shared for several reasons. A Storyteller is the Guardian of the history and Sacred Traditions that can help all of us as we try to walk on the Sacred Path to balance. It is most important to keep the ancient knowledge alive for the children to have with them as they grow and begin their journeys helping them to see the Medicine Lessons that still apply today. The arrival of the Storyteller was a much celebrated time for many bands and tribes of North America as they brought the ancient stories along with news of what was happening with the other Peoples they had visited. Births and deaths were reported from other camps so the Storyteller could also be described as a news broadcaster of sorts, too.

Honor the Traditions Poster print

The Plains Indian Tribes often referred to their Storytellers as “Twisted Hairs”. They could be recognized because they wore a small knotted and twisted bun that fell to the center of their forehead which marked them as historians and teachers of the Tribe.

Acting as a bridge to other times and ancient teachings the Storytellers of all Tribes and Nations teach us the Medicine Stories that we can apply to our own lives, at our own pace, in our own time.  Something that I greatly admire about the Storytellers is that they were and are able to share lessons about life without pointing fingers at anyone. As they share their story it passes on a different wisdom to all who hear it.  One might find the solution to a problem while another might recognize an error that they have made and want to correct it.  With Great Spirit working through the Storyteller the most needed message would be delivered where it should.

Many cultures have a form of storytelling that teaches both children and adults moral lessons to live by…it is important that we honor those traditions and share our history and our Medicine Stories with the children in our lives. The Native American storytelling tradition is one that we can all learn and teach from.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

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Beverly Two Feathers

Beverly Two Feathers is my spiritual name, other places I use my Anglo name you can find me as Beverly Owens on Google +

8 thoughts on “Native American Storytelling Tradition”

  1. Already, too much information has been lost; a lot of the suffering going on today is because of this loss. It’s extremely important to honor Native American Storytelling and to keep it alive and well.

  2. I like the fact that the Storytellers would try to make their points without pointing the finger at anyone – this is indeed very difficult because so much of what we see and learn is based on others’ mistakes.

  3. Since i was A child my mother told my family we come from the Mohawk Indian Orgin- ( we have never been claimed, but it is the very essence of story telling and lifes history that has created us/me. NOT CLAIMED BUT RESIDING IN THE SAME TERRITORY-ORGIN) NOW, just 40 yrsold, I have sought many lessons of life though my closeness with the great spirit, in seach of my calling. MY calling is storytelling and fortunately i beleive in the great spirit and it speaks with me. There are many unexplainable phenonmenal lessons in my life that have proved to me, I have to listen, then tell. On my quest i hope to use this website as a tool to help me find my greatest strenghths- Unfortuanly I am looking for this great strength to bring me wealth so I can just live and do what my nature is calling of me-story tell.. My other influences- MY GREAT<GREAT<GREAT<GREAT <GREAT GRANDMOTHER was A NAtive Amercian Princess. SO in my world i am a princess too. thanks

    1. Thank you for stopping by Mary Jane and I hope my blog helps you find some answers. Yes, listen to the inner voice that speaks to you. Your strengths will be the ones that Great Spirit gives you, not necessarily the ones you think you want. In the old ways, a persons wealth was measured not by how many things they had but by how much they could give to the welfare of the whole community. The Storytellers were held with great esteem as they not only entertained but taught the community about important lessons they should remember. Many of the stories were also a way to keep track of the Tribe’s history, especially before the written word came to The People.

    1. I am not familiar with a feather being passed. Some traditions passed the pipe with the one holding the pipe having the right to speak while others listened.

  4. I recently bought a shop in New Mexico, with the shop came a Navajo Story Bear. Hand carved, beautiful piece. The original owner told me that the ladders are the stairway to heaven and the shield was the shield of life, but that’s all she told me. Would like to know the whole story and what the others symbols mean. If anyone could help it would be appreciated. Thank you so much.

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