Stories are falling like autumn leaves across the state:

Choctaw Library, Oct. 18, 5:30 to 7:00, Choctaw, "WayWord Tellers"
Warr Acres, Oct. 25, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., Marilyn A. Hudson, " The Ghost Teller"
Oklahoma City, Oct. 28, 29, 30, 7:00 p.m. and 8 p.m., "Story and Tour" of Overholser Mansion, with Marilyn A. Hudson, "The Ghost Teller."

MH 2010
Know of others?  Send them in....



Storytellers, like everyone else, live in their cultures, social strata's, and traditions.  Additionally, they cross social, racial, economic, educational, cultural, and educational lines to interact with other components in society. In a period when society is increasingly more fragmented and divided along political, religious, lifestyle, or philosophical lines it is important that storytellers remember that diversity is a two way street and tolerance a path of mutual manners. Storytellers, by virtue of the strength and confidence required to share stories in public in the first place, can be pretty strong minded,  ego driven, and opinionated.

Two examples serve to illustrate the issue.  In one state storytelling group where a subset who were people of faith and they wished to add to the state event a program for the mutual sharing of stories of faith and the sacred.  Another group, who did not share this interest laughed, in many ways demeaned the idea, and minimized the other storytellers.  Since no one was planning to force anyone to participate, the reaction was  intolerant, divisive, and  insultive.  In another situation, a storyteller who was on one side of a political-social issue evangelistically promoted their view through stories, materials, and even the t-shirt worn.  Yet, when another storyteller with equally strong, yet opposite views attempted to do the same they were met with intolerance, limitations, and restrictions as to content of stories shared. 

Storytelling in its earliest roots was surely the epitome of what we like to call ' Freedom of Speech'.  In the ability to present stories of differing views, from differing cultures, and sharing diverse values, the listener has always been encouraged to consider and weigh options as they develop their own opinions.  Storytelling has always been a source of moral, ethical, and educational direction for people. Stories are the voices of family and friends connecting each human being to another.  

Families are often loud and talk over each, are opinionated and blunt, but they should also always be listeners.    Storytellers should also be listeners.  What is the old adage about understanding comes from walking in anothers shoes?  Maybe it also comes from changing perspective, tolerating other views, and respecting not only our own opinions but allowing others their own as well.



The Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee will host a story conference Sept. 24th and 25th. It will be held at the historic Bacone College. Tim Tingle (Choctaw) will co-host plus there will be fifteen well-known storytellers. Among them are Choogie Kingfisher (Keetoowah Cherokee), Ryan Mackey (Cherokee), Stella Long (Choctaw), Lorie Robins (Chickasaw), Greg Rodger (Choctaw/Chickasaw), Phillip Harjo (Seminole), LeAnne Howe (Choctaw), Dr. Phillip Carrol Moargan (Chickasaw/Choctaw), Dr. Daniel Littlefield (Cherokee), Joyce Bear (Muscogee) to name a few.

The conference requires pre-enrollment but there will be evening performances at the museum that will be free to the public. For more information: 918-683-1701 or 5civilizedtribes@sbcglobal.net

Another Indian event is the 2010 Oklahoma Indian Summer Festival in Bartlesville on Sept. 17th-19th, at the Bartlesville Community Center located at Adams and Cherokee in Bartlesville OK. There will be more than 30 artists displayed in the Center and outside there will be food and craft venders and traders with a variety of wares with the native American theme. There will be intertribal powwow and contests. There will be interactive traditional craft making and cultural demonstrations all weekend. Sunday there will be church service and a gospel sing.

Dianne Fallis and Nancy Lenhart Matthews have been invited by the Cherokee Indian Women's Storytelling group to tell Indian stories on Saturday afternoon between 2pm and 4pm. Nancy will also be telling on Friday morning to the school children attending the festival.