Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Tricksters: Native Stories from Keepers of the Earth

Yesterday I wrote about a book of plays for children written by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac, and today I want to focus on an anthology of stories: The Native Stories from Keepers of the Earth

As you can see from the title, this book features stories, told by Bruchac, from a larger book, Keepers of the Earth, which Bruchac coauthored with Michael Caduto, an ecologist and storyteller.

This larger book contains environmental information and activities for young readers, in addition to the stories themselves, blending ecological science with the Native American storytelling traditions.

The stories are organized thematically: Creation; Fire; Earth; Wind and Weather; Sky; Seasons; Plants and Animals; and Life, Death, Spirit. You will see trickster figures throughout the stories, including Gluscabi, Raven, and Coyote.

The illustrations for both books are by John Kahiohnes Fadden. Here, for example, is Coyote being chased by the Rock, a story found in many Native American story traditions where a trickster character takes back a gift or steals something from the Rock... and the Rock comes after the trickster for justice!

So, you can read the stories OR you can see how Caduto and Bruchac have integrated the stories into an activity-based learning experience for children (or adults!). Both books are just a click away at the Internet Archive:

by Joseph Bruchac

by Michael Caduto and Joseph Bruchac

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