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STORIES – A POWERFUL TOOL IN TRIBAL LITERATURE, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO HOW MARTEN GOT HIS SPOTS: AND OTHER KOOTENAI INDIAN STORIES

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Author(s): J. Sripadmadevi

Journal: The Dawn Journal
ISSN 2277-1786

Volume: 02;
Issue: 02;
Start page: 504;
Date: 2013;
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ABSTRACT
Since time immemorial, stories hold prime place in the process of individuation. The art of story-telling is as old as human civilization. And the world of Tribe is of no exception. Many of the rural and tribal societies are oral in nature. Their history is not written but orally transmitted from one generation to another, in the form of poetry, songs, proverbs, stories, narrative dances and various rituals. Their historical and cultural information are passed on through some of these means. Primarily they used stories for imparting knowledge and courage to the budding generation. Among the array of tribes across the world, the Kootenai people – a particular sect of tribe - today exist in south-eastern British Columbia, Washington State, Idaho and Moutana. For centuries, Kootenai children and adults gathered on cold, dark winter nights to listen and learn from stories. Recorded by their elders and illustrated by Kootenai artists from the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana, these Kootenai stories are originally intended to educate young tribal members about their history and culture. The collection of How Marten Got His Spots: and other Kootenai stories packed with morals, in which Marten learns a hard lesson in obedience; Coyote and Trout, in which Coyote learns the consequences of greed; Little Weasel's Dream, in which the child Little Weasel learns the importance of listening to his elders; and Tepee Making, an illustrated lesson in construction. The main focal point of the present paper is to exhibit, how by employing the technique of storytelling, these tribes can communicate and mould their rising generation, with special reference to How Marten Got His Spots: and other Kootenai stories.
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