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Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Miscellany of Ideas for "A Universe of Stories"

Brace yourself, today's going to be a long wrap-up of ideas and stories because I really need to move on to other topics.

This is my program for the Collaborative Summer Library Program theme of "A Universe of Stories."  Because librarians and storytellers are planning toward this summer I've been sharing my review of an astronomy-related program from the past.  In some cases I will still include stories used in the past like a delightful Korean tale attributing eclipses to "A Dog Named Fireball."  It's not Public Domain, so I couldn't reproduce it here.  I also plan to continue telling my own version of the origin of the Pleiades, as mentioned a little over a month ago when I began this series.  Beyond existing stories, I have my Mad Libs book of story starters to create a space story with audiences, as well as the space jokes -- yes, I confess fourth grade humor is about my level.  

From What the Moon Saw and Other Tales
by Hans Christian Andersen 
Illustrator: A. W. Bayes and Brothers Dalziel (engravers)
This has been a time beyond reviewing past stories and exploring what else is out there.  For example some situations might be able to use a story I published here shortly before Halloween in 2017, Joseph Jacobs' story, "The Buried Moon".  It's a beautiful haunting story, but needs the right setting and audience, possibly middle school and teens.  Another story for that level, but not the younger readers, is Hans Christian Andersen's little known tale of "The Comet."  To find the story you could go to either of two books of translations of his complete works still easily located (and in copyright).  The most recent is by Erik Haugaard, The complete fairy tales and stories, (1974) -- be careful as it's not in an abridged version of his translation (illustrated by Michael Foreman called Hans Andersen, his classic fairy tales). There's also an older translation reissued in 2014 by Jean Hersholt called Hans Christian Andersen, the complete fairy tales.  I own The complete Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales edited by Lily Owens and my copy didn't say she used the Hersholt version.  Further research found two older pdf versions.  Stories and tales / by Hans Christian Andersen ; illustrated by M. L. Stone and V. Pedersen (1870) and Fairy tales and other stories / by Hans Christian Andersen ; rev. and in part newly tr. by W.A. & J.K. Craigie, with ninety-five illustrations (1914):

https://hdl.handle.net/2027/njp.32101071957110?urlappend=%3Bseq=289
https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uva.x000457775?urlappend=%3Bseq=1038 
Those are from the HathiTrust Digital Library and you may download pdfs or even the entire book.
When I was tracking down the Hersholt version I called a library with a copy and the librarian fell in love with the story of a man born when the comet appears (and the superstitions about that) and dies the next time it appears.  An older group could appreciate that Halley's Comet appeared in 1986 and will reappear in 2062 and all that happens in the 75 or 76 years between.  It's a discussion starter for adults and teens and many libraries have Summer Reading Programs for more than just elementary school readers.

Beyond just stories I like to have handouts whenever possible for my audience to take home.  I found this great picture from Simple Simon and Company:  https://www.simplesimonandco.com/2012/03/craft-stick-puppets-perfect-for-something-on-a-stick-day.html/  Simple Simon and Company is a blog from two former teachers named Elizabeth sharing all manner of projects.  Since the puppets aren't for sale and that link introduces you to their work, it's reasonable to offer it here.  My own copy here is the result of my editing out the extra wording.
My full-size handout works either as stick puppets or finger puppets.  Perfect for young storytellers and puppeteers. 

I've often included Cherokee stories from James Mooney's Myths of the Cherokee and it's available online at Project Gutenberg.  It includes another version of that Pleiades story -- it's very popular and many versions exist among the different Native American nations.  There's also a very brief origin tale of the Milky Way and why they call it "Where the dog ran."  Both are among the book's first group of stories, including some other astronomical stories, in a section called Cosmogonic Myths.  Both the origin of the Pleiades and the Milky Way have been told in other cultures beyond North America.  I included a Wikipedia link to help you if you want to learn about the Milky Way since I haven't included it here.  Some might call the Cherokee idea "corny", but this dog-lover enjoys it the best of all.  Maybe you have a different preference. 

Obviously there are many pourquois tales beyond our many Native American ones.  Here's a video of friend and colleague, Richard Martin, telling a Swedish version of the Pleiades.  Since Blogger has a preference for their own YouTube videos and this is from Vimeo, I just give the link and encourage you to prowl Richard's many wonderful resources on his site.  His Swedish version is quite enjoyable, but I still plan to use the Iroquois version. 

Another story from my past astronomical tales came up in a different version on the email list for storytellers, Storytell.  Darrin Crow posted: They That Chase After the Bear is a very cool one about the big dipper.
They That Chase After The Bear

This version of the legend comes from William Jones' 1907 collection

of Mesquakie stories, Fox Texts.

It is said that once on a time long ago in the winter, at the

beginning of the season of snow after the first fall of snow, three

men went on a hunt for game early on a morning. Upon a hillside into

a place where the bush was thick a bear they trailed. One of the men

went in following the trail of the bear. And then he started it up

running. "Towards the place whence comes the cold is he speeding

away!" he said to his companions.

He that headed off on the side which lay towards the source of the

cold,"In the direction of the place of the noonday sky is he running!"

he said.

Back and forth amongst themselves they kept the bear fleeing. They

say that after a while he that was coming up behind chanced to look

down at the ground. Behold, green was the surface of the earth lying

face up! Now of a truth up into the sky were they conveyed by the

bear! When round about the bush they were chasing it then truly was

the time that up into the sky they went. And then he that came up

behind cried out to him that was next ahead: "O River-that-joins-

Another, let us go back! We are being carried up into the sky!" Thus

said he to River-that-joins-Another. But by him was he not heeded.

Now River-that-joins-Another was he who ran in between the two, and a
little puppy Hold-Tight he had for a pet.

In the autumn they overtook the bear, then they slew it. After they

had slain it, then boughs of the oak they cut, likewise boughs of the

sumac, then laying the bear on top of the leaves they flayed and cut

up the bear; after they had flayed and cut it up, then they began

slinging and scattering the meat in every direction. Towards the

place of the coming of the morning they flung the head; in the winter-

time when the morning is about to appear some stars usually rise; it

is said that they came from the head of the bear. And also his

backbone, towards the place of the morning they flung it too. They

too are commonly seen in the winter-time; they are stars that lie

huddled close together; it is said that they came from the backbone.

And they say that these four stars in the lead were the bear, and the

three stars at the rear were they who were chasing after the bear. In

between two of them is a tiny little star, it hangs near by another;

they say that it was the puppy, the pet Hold-Tight of River-that-

joins-Another.

Every autumn the oaks and sumacs redden in the leaf because it is

then that the hunters lay the bear on top of the leaves and flay and

cut it up; then red with blood become the leaves. Such is the reason

why every autumn red become the leaves of the oaks and sumacs.

That is the end of the story.

**** I replied:
There's a Pacific Northwest version from the Snohomish called

"Pushing Up the Sky" in Ella E. Clark's Indian Legends of the Pacific

Northwest that I've been unable to find a version in Public Domain.

In that version the people lift the sky shouting "Ya-hoh!" over and

over, but a few hunters missed the message about when it would happen

and wound up in the sky, too. The Fox were originally from the Great

Lakes area, so they are of interest here in Michigan even though the

largest number, along with the Sauk were relocated to Oklahoma

(that's definitely "a 'nother story!"), but you'll see they have

strong Midwestern roots. Stories travel and change a bit. I like to

start the story by getting the audience ready to lift the sky with a

"Ya-hoh!" and, now will explain it's told in two ways in two places

traveling just as happens in this story.

I follow the sky lifting story with the Iroquois story about the

Pleiades who dance into the sky. Like the Anne F. Rockwell picture

book version in The Dancing Stars, I have the mother bear welcome

them. I made a lullaby for her to sing. In each case I explain

this is my version after studying and falling in love with a story

as originating with those particular nations.


Here's something a bit different.  Award-winning author, Aaron Shepard offers on his website something he rightly calls "Gifts of Story."  There are stories from all over the world, often in reader's theater scripts, printable color posters, photo features, audio recordings, extended author notes, fun writing exercises, and alternate story versions.  Back in 1996 he wrote "How Frog Went to Heaven; A Tale of Angola" for Australia's School Magazine and later adapted it for reader's theater (Gift of Story #28) complete with music.  The story's fun for the audience and any young readers acting it out, but imagine my shock to find on his "Extras" , giving  more information about the story, he said:

The song can be found with additional lyrics and music in full arrangement in Echoes of Africa in Folk Songs of the Americas, by Beatrice Landeck, David McKay Company, New York, 1961. My thanks to Lois Sprengnether for calling it to my attention.

! ! !

All right that clearly dates back to the time before I "found my Keel in life", but it was great to email chat a bit with him after seeing that story, which also fits well in with these thematic offerings.

Beyond all of this I want to recommend Flint Public Library's Ring a Ring o' Roses.  Now in its 12th edition!  bookorders@fpl.info will let you buy it from the library or ask any questions.  I don't go back through their full 35 years of publishing, but have recommended it for most of that time.  While it is planned for preschoolers, there are ways to adapt for school-age.

Here's one from the book.  Finger Play motions are given in italics.

Moon Ride

Do you want to go up with me to the moon?
Point to friend, self, then to sky.
Let's get in our rocket ship and blast off soon!
Pretend to climb in ship.  Swish hands quickly.
Faster and faster we reach to the sky,
Jump and reach.
Isn't it fun to be able to fly?
We're on the moon, now all take a look,
Look down,
And gently sit down and I'll show you a book.
Sit down gently.


I often recommend Jackie Baldwin's Story-Lovers website now only reached through Archive.org's "Wayback Machine."  People sometimes find the Wayback Machine a bit confusing, but you can get directly to suggestions of Sun, Moon, and Star Stories plus her book suggestions from back in 2009 at

https://web.archive.org/web/20160419211008/http://www.story-lovers.com/listssunmoonstarsstories.html.  Most originated on the Storytell email list.  Nowadays that list continues through the National Storytelling Network's sponsoring it, complete with an archive from when in 2013 they began hosting it.

So now it's time to BLAST OFF to warmer weather 

(I hope)

and look forward to Summer Reading!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Holbrook - How Raven Helped Men - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Raven is a folklore figure we don't know well in the midwest...our loss! 

Raven was the benefactor of the earliest people along the shores of the Pacific Northwest, but he was a trickster.  That makes an interesting combination.  He's often called "Raven-Who-Makes-Things-Right", but his clever ways of doing it match the intelligence of the real bird.

I confess I was able to find nothing about the image of Raven I use to open today's story, but the color in it, along with its style, match both the story and the look of Raven on the many totem poles in his home area along the northwestern coast of the U.S. and Canada and it led me to choose it.  His images are often anonymous folk art.  If there's an artist wishing credit, I apologize and will gladly add it.  (How Raven-like to act first and then deal with the consequences!  A bad influence?  Some might say so.)

Ravens may talk...they do.  This Wikipedia article talks about the "Common" Raven --"common" --  hmph!  Their intelligence and ability to mimic human speech is only part of the article, be sure to read the section on that, as well as the part about their relationship with humans.

Enough talking.  

(I had to snicker a bit when I came to the part about Eagle talking about People not knowing enough to know when to go to sleep and when to get up.  This is the weekend most of the Americas switch to Daylight Saving Time and I always find it so hard to "spring forward."  Eagle was right about me, I have a hard time going to sleep even without a time change and would even if I had two moons.)

Remember I said I intentionally chose a colorful Raven?  Some versions of the story tell us Raven's feathers turned black from being burned when he carried the sun and fire.

Before finding this story I loved Gerald McDermott's Caldecott Honor Award-winning book, Raven, but now appreciate the source of his tale even more.  I can understand his simplification of it to just the stealing of the sun -- and avoiding the relationship with Eagle's daughter -- but it's again one of those great opportunities to "compare and contrast."
I should probably mention here an online source of Native American tales.  Go to Ya-Native.com where you will find it as "How Raven Helped the Ancient People."  Yet another item for the "compare and contrast" possibilities.

Just today I was talking with some friends about the collective names for specific animals.  You may have heard about "a murder of crows."  We went looking to find the name for a group of ravens.  It turned out to be "an unkindness of ravens."  Some may find the mythological Raven at times unkind, but certainly not when he was helping people.

Today's story came from a book I've long wanted and am delighted now to add it to my collection.  Sometimes reprints are less than their original, but the version I have from Applewood Books is carefully done and I need to prowl their catalog.  There are many other stories in Florence Holbrook's The Book of Nature Myths for Children appropriate for the Collaborative Summer Library Program theme of "A Universe of Stories" used by many libraries this year, so I recommend it to others seeking material for the theme.

Back on February 9 I began listing many Public Domain stories matching "A Universe of Stories."  So many people all over the world have created pourquois tales to explain what we see in the sky.  It has been fun, but I want to move on to some other storytelling topics so next week I'll try to wrap this up with some of the shorter miscellaneous ideas I've found.

As I said, I have wanted the book that was the source for today's tale for a long time and not just for the CSLP, so I'm sure I'll return to Ms. Holbrook in the future for other nature stories.  This 1902 book deserves to be kept for the "Public in Public Domain."
********************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
           - Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Parker - How the Sun Was Made - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

This is the blue-winged Kookaburra from the Northern Territory
Do you remember the song about the Kookaburra?   Surprisingly it's still under copyright, so I'll not give it here, but Girl Scouts and others around the globe enjoy it and it fits today's story.  (I also saw that various YouTube videos offer it, if you don't already know about the bird who "sits in the old gum tree.")

There are so many stories about how things came to be the way they are, called "pourquois tales."  Many fit this summer's reading theme of "A Universe of Stories" and will often come from the native or aboriginal people.  Today's story comes from the native people of Australia's New South Wales as collected right before the end of the nineteenth century by K. Langloh Parker.

Years ago I began to study Australian folklore, but worried that Ms. Parker's work might be flawed and come from the colonialist view.  Her work in this century has been reevaluated.  I'll let her own methods and some of that recent view follow today's story which includes the bird now known as the Kookaburra and just how its song fits into a Pourquois tale of the making of the sun.  But before Kookaburra (or  Gougourgahgah) we must meet two other birds, Brolga and Emu.
Brolga, formerly called the native companion


Emu
 




 How the Sun Was Made

For a long time there was no sun, only a moon and stars. That was before there were men on the earth, only birds and beasts, all of which were many sizes larger than they are now.

One day, Dinewan, the emu, and Brälgah, the native companion, were on a large plain near the Murrumbidgee. There they were quarrelling and fighting. Brälgah, in her rage, rushed to the nest of Dinewan, seized from it one of the huge eggs in it, which she threw with all her force up to the sky. There it broke on a heap of firewood, which burst into a flame as the yellow yolk spilt all over it, which flame lit up the world below, to the astonishment of everything on it. They had only been used to the semi-darkness, and were dazzled by such brightness.

A good spirit who lived in the sky saw how bright and beautiful the earth looked when lit up by this blaze. He thought it would be a good thing to make a fire every day, which from that time he has done. All night he and his attendant spirits collect wood, and heap it up. When the heap is nearly big enough they send out the morning star to warn those on earth that the fire will soon be lit.

They, however, found this warning was not sufficient, for those who slept saw it not. Then they thought they must have some noise made at dawn of day to herald the coming of the sun and waken the sleepers. But they could not decide upon to whom should be given this office for a long time.

At last one evening they heard the laughter of Gougourgahgah, the laughing jackass, ringing through the air. "That is the noise we want," they said. Then they told Gougourgahgah that as the morning star faded and the day dawned he was every morning to laugh his loudest, that his laughter might awaken all sleepers before sunrise. If he would not agree to do this then no more would they light the sun-fire, but let the earth be ever in twilight again.

But Gougourgahgah saved the light for the world, and agreed to laugh his loudest at every dawn of day, which he has done ever since, making the air ring with his loud cackling "gou-gour-gah-gah, gou-gour-gah-gah, gou-gour-gah-gah."

When the spirits first light the fire it does not throw out much heat. But in the middle of the day when the whole heap of firewood is in a blaze, the heat is fierce. After that it begins to die gradually away until only the red coals are left at sunset, and they quickly die out, except a few the spirits cover up with clouds, and save to light the heap of wood they get ready for the next day.

Children are not allowed to imitate the laughter of Gougourgahgah, lest he should hear them and cease his morning cry. If children do laugh as he does, an extra tooth grows above their eye-tooth, so that they carry a mark of their mockery in punishment for it, for well do the good spirits know that if ever a time comes wherein the Gougourgahgahs cease laughing to herald the sun, then the time will have come when no more Daens are seen in the land, and darkness will reign once more.

***
I mentioned the well-known song is still covered under Australian copyright law, but Sesame Street wrote its own song about the Kookaburra and shows in this YouTube video the brown Kookaburra more likely to have been the one in the story since it originated in the territory of New South Wales.

Talking about location reminds me that one view of Australian Aboriginal tales was they shouldn't be told outside the area where it was originally told.  I do understand the feeling that away from there we won't understand all the original meaning.  That may be true any time we tell beyond a community where we grew up.  Another Aboriginal concern is robbing their culture.  This is clearly a story from the time often called the Dreamtime, a sacred era for the Australian Aboriginal.  As a storyteller my hope is a respect for a story already released into the world and now deserving to be shared with those of us trying to understand. 

originally published in 1898
This brings us to evaluating Ms. Parker's work.  She was somewhat fluent in the language of the Ualarai, but wanted to be sure to get an accurate version of the stories she collected.  She explained her methods involved eliciting material on a legend from an elder, then getting the English version re-translated back by a native more fluent in English than the elders, in order to enable the latter to correct any errors that might have arisen. The interpreter would then translate the revised version, which she would write down, and then have the written account read back to the elderly informant for final confirmation of its accuracy.

Her dedication page says
DEDICATED
TO
THE EUAHLAYI-SPEAKING PEOPLE
IN GRATEFUL RECOGNITION OF THEIR
EVER-WILLING ASSISTANCE IN MY FOLK-LORE QUEST
Her own personal views seem to be omitted in recording a story, but probably influenced her selection and certainly any personal comments made.

You can read More Australian Legendary Tales and its predecessor, Australian Legendary Tales online.  Her work was thought highly enough when published that Andrew Lang wrote the introduction to each volume.

For more online stories, try this slightly enlarged list of suggestions.  (Can you spot the change?)
********************************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
           - Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Powers - Why the Sun Travels from East to West - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Complaints about standardized tests earn my sympathy.  Testing "general knowledge" is the problem.  Today's story has a personal back-story.  I always tested at the top limit on reading tests.  (Math is a whole 'nother story as I sometimes say I'm "numerically impaired.")  One test, however, had my "perfect reader crown" knocked off.  I got one question wrong and it's a perfect example of how you shouldn't be tested on something beyond the reading sample.

What did I get wrong?  The question presumed I should know the sun rose in the east and set in the west.  How the heck could a city-dwelling elementary school student know that?  I doubt I could ever see it rise and set over the houses and trees of my St. Louis home.  I wasn't driving yet and had no idea where east, west, north and south were.  By high school I was riding public buses to north St. Louis and was dimly aware another area was south St. Louis, but maps were not yet a part of my life.

Nowadays when I teach introductory sign language, I teach the signs for those directions.  I also help show where they are on a map since it's part of the way the sign is made.

Telling this story, I would certainly include the importance of directions and how the Iroquois children would know more than this city kid did.  The story comes from Around an Iroquois Story Fire recorded by Mabel Powers, who was given the Iroquois name of Yehsennohwehs which means She Who Carries and Tells the Stories.  Her versions of the stories received the endorsement by the six chiefs of the Iroquois Confederation (Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, and Tuscaroras).  She came to western New York in about 1910 and was adopted as an honorary member by the Seneca.  She lived and was active there, including the Chautauqua movement of adult education as a frequent speaker until her death in 1966.  A biographical speech about her is online from the Chautauqua County Historical Society and McClurg Museum in Westfield, New York.

Around an Iroquois Story Fire has only just entered public domain as it was renewed in 1950.  This is a perfect example of the cultural importance of Public Domain saving work from the twentieth century that should not be allowed to fade away.
The book also includes a version of the Pleiades or Dancing Stars story from two weeks ago.  There seem to be as many re-tellings as there are constellations and it's always interesting to see how each is a bit different.  Teachers seeking Compare and Contrast ideas could easily use the story for a lesson.

Before starting today's story I probably should address one other issue.  While it's convenient to use the name of a specific nation like the Iroquois Confederation or its members like the Seneca, this story definitely uses the name of "Indian."  My first teacher in Native American folklore was an Anishinaabe elder who called the name of "Indian" "Columbus's mistake!"  I also have younger friends who prefer "Indian."  It is simpler and certainly easier when telling.  Their opinion is the term is part of their heritage and also all official recognition, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs (however flawed that agency's history may be).  I was surprised to learn the B.I.A. dates back to 1775 and the Continental Congress!

I have no final answer.  Nowadays so much seems to revolve around "politically correct language." As a non-tribal member I merely hope to respectfully inform my audiences, using the most reliable information available.  Today's story is yet another example that also happens to match the Summer Reading theme of "A Universe of Stories" being used by many libraries across our country.
As a storyteller I can relate to that idea of work never being done.  May stories always have us as earth children looking up and finding reasons to keep reading "pourquois" tales like this.  It gets us thinking about how our ancestors explained how natural phenomenon originated, including in the sky above.

Until next week when I hope to continue offering ideas related to the "Universe of Stories", here are additional reading suggestions.
********************************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
           - Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Jacobs - The Stars in the Sky - Keeping the Public In Public Domain

I said I might give some stories I won't be telling, but match the Summer Reading theme of "A Universe of Stories."  Libraries are using it to mark the 50th anniversary of the first manned walk on the moon.  Last week's the Iroquois "Dancing Stars" is what I will use for stars, moving on to other topics such as eclipses, which I have a great Korean tale, but it's not public domain and unable to be posted online.

Today's selection is a lovely little tale with Scottish roots that would be great to revisit this summer at the annual Highland Games as the "tiny lassie" wants something from the sky she can never get...the stars to play with!  Doesn't that sound like the impossible desires of children you know and love?!?

In his notes, Jacobs notes that the story is originally told in "broad Scots, which I have anglicized."  It does retain the Scottish feeling, but the storyteller needs to decide if words like "clomb" for "climbed" and the greeting of "gooden to ye" should be explained or if it's better to substitute.




It reminds me of a modern tale, Many Moons by James Thurber.  It is possibly in Public Domain as a musical comedy since this statement is at Many Moons - Thurber & Slobodkin
Prior to the writing of the book Many Moons, Thurber collaborated with other members of Ohio State University’s Scarlet Mask Club in 1922 to create Many Moons: A Musical Comedy in Two Acts (AbeBooks.com). In a letter to Herman and Dorothy Miller on 28 May, 1943, Thurber writes that the children's book has “no relation to the Scarlet Mask play of the same name—1923)” (Kinney, p.355). An image of a first edition copy of the musical is below (image retrieved from Abebooks):
Thurber's own claim of the story version having "no relation" to the play, however, means I'll not be posting it here.  That link, however, is part of a larger site on the book illustrated by Louis Slobodkin that won the Caldecott award in 1943 for best picture book.  The more recent 1998 version by Marc Simont
is probably more suited to today's children even though their parents probably grew up with the award winner.  I love Slobodkin's work for other books, but think the award shows how picture books have changed over the years.  The Caldecott is given for the artwork, but it must accompany a worthy story.  Many Moons is.  Grab a copy of each and draw your own conclusions.  By the way, the site about Thurber/Slobodkin also gives, among other things, the many translations.  I'd love to experience the two Braille editions!

While looking up information on Many Moons I stumbled upon Teaching Children Philosophy .  Don't let the site's name turn you off as it gives some interesting questions about feelings, wisdom, and perception.

That's all for today, but I'm adding somebody new to the "fine print" of online sources.  My friend and, at least as crazy, colleague, Csenge, doesn't give the actual stories on her site, but it's an excellent way to go "Following Folktales Around the World. "  She has worked her way through various continents, taking a book she recommends for each country and telling you about the story or stories she loves best in the book.  Like my comment about Many Moons, it's an excellent way to find new material you may enjoy and enjoy re-telling.
*************************************************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
           - Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!