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The Storytellers - Plateau Indians in Olden Times for Kids Illustration

The Storytellers - Plateau Indians in Olden Times

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For Kids

The Historian/Storyteller/Teacher:  The people of the Plateau loved games. They also loved stories. In each village, there was an old man, called the Elder, who could recite the legends and tales and myths of the tribe. If a village had no elder to act as storyteller, the village shaman would tell the stories instead.

These stories were told on rainy nights and snowy nights in the long lodge. The teller acted out the story with his voice, his face, and his body. He might growl or roar or cry. Some stories were told over and over again. When stories were retold, the last sentence of the story was repeated by everyone to show that they had been listening.

These stories had lessons to be learned. There were stories that taught tribal formal laws and the repercussions if broken; there were stories of moral ethics, bravery, goodness, and strength. Some stories taught about undesirable traits like what might happen if you were greedy or selfish or boastful. Some stories were myths to explain how a lake or a mountain was formed. They were great stories, handed down generation after generation. The people in each village looked forward to stormy nights.

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Native American Index - Coast to Coast