November 12, 2012
Native American Storytelling
Native American literature is the root of cultural storytelling, which is told through oral tradition, this consist of stories and songs verbally. Native American literature use literary conventions in the root of myth and symbolic examples in storytelling. The book “Native American Literature: A Brief Introduction and Anthology” gives good insight into the Native American ways of life and how storytelling is a part of that life. Short stories by Simon Oritz and Luther Standing Bear share life experience and cultural diversity. The reader can see how historical, social and political, and cultural ways play a role in the Native Americans storytelling. …show more content…
In the story “My People, the Sioux,” written by Luther Standing Bear, one learns of the hardship the children had to go through. “It is my desire that all people know the truth about the first Americans and their relations with the United States Government” (Bear, 1975/1996, p. 33). In this story Bear tells the reader how Native American schools began. A man name Captain Pratt though, to better the White people he should “…get some young Indians children and educate them” (Bear, 1975/1996, p. 34). The United States government approved the education of Native American children. Captain Pratt was not prepared to start school, “He brought some of the Indian prisoners from Virginia with him, and they remained in the Carlisle Barracks until Captain Pratt could go to Dakota and return with his first consignment of ‘scholars’” (Bear, 1975/1996, p. 34).
When the young Native Americans first arrived they had to sleep on the cold hard floor, later on they were given bags to fill up with straw to sleep on, but the children had to fill them up themselves. The children only had the blankets they brought from home. For breakfast the children had bread and water, and lunch meat, bread, and coffee. The children were all renamed with a white man’s name, but they were not taught how to pronounce the names. The author, Bear, was one of the first Native American boys to learn his name; in the story the reader can see how proud he was of his accomplishment. The children had their haircut