February 20, 2007

Storytellers join forces

Native American Storytellers Debut National Cultural Program in HawaiiWhat do Yu'pik and Inupiaq natives of Alaska, Cape Verdean-Americans, and Native Hawaiians have in common? Their stories--and the story telling traditions of their various native cultures. This week a cross-cultural group of storytellers, musicians, and performers holed up in a North Shore beach cottage to find their common ground and build performance pieces they will carry as far east as Martha's Vineyard, as far west as O‘ahu, and as far north as Alaska.

"The most amazing thing is that seven people from three states representing five different cultures create a performance piece in less than a week and then travel across the nation sharing these oral histories, which in turn, create opportunities for cross-cultural dialogues and celebrations of those commonalities which connect and define us all," says Noelle Kahanu, a former ECHO participant from Bishop Museum.
First Hané storytelling festival draws large, enthusiastic crowdNative American storytelling is not dead. It's just taken another form.

That was made clear this weekend when Sunny Dooley, a professional Navajo storyteller, joined with storytellers from two other tribes and held the first of what she plans are annual storytelling festivals.

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