Title

"Open Your Ears, You Fool!"

Presenter Information

Jonathan Hoff

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 137A

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

I wrote this story in Professor Toni Čuljak’s American Indian Oral and Non-Fiction Literature course, for the first project we were assigned, to show that I understood some essential characteristics of Native American culture and relationships. The requirements were to create a story using any Trickster, Transformer, or Culture Hero characters we had recently discussed (such as Coyote or Raven), demonstrate the family-like relationships between Native people and the natural world, and include cosmology (an explanation for how things in the world came to be as they are today). I particularly enjoyed this project for three reasons: I hope to be a fiction and fantasy writer one day, I love folklore of any culture, and Coyote, the main character in this story, has always been my favorite Trickster. Stories in Native culture are much more than simple entertainment: they tell how things came to be and teach important lessons about appropriate behavior and customs to listeners. These stories require no specific type of audience: anyone can listen to them and learn something. Many stories in non-Native societies serve a similar purpose, and I hope that after “Open Your Ears” is concluded, the audience will understand the importance of stories both within and without Native American society.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Toni Culjak

Additional Mentoring Department

English

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May 16th, 5:10 PM May 16th, 5:30 PM

"Open Your Ears, You Fool!"

SURC 137A

I wrote this story in Professor Toni Čuljak’s American Indian Oral and Non-Fiction Literature course, for the first project we were assigned, to show that I understood some essential characteristics of Native American culture and relationships. The requirements were to create a story using any Trickster, Transformer, or Culture Hero characters we had recently discussed (such as Coyote or Raven), demonstrate the family-like relationships between Native people and the natural world, and include cosmology (an explanation for how things in the world came to be as they are today). I particularly enjoyed this project for three reasons: I hope to be a fiction and fantasy writer one day, I love folklore of any culture, and Coyote, the main character in this story, has always been my favorite Trickster. Stories in Native culture are much more than simple entertainment: they tell how things came to be and teach important lessons about appropriate behavior and customs to listeners. These stories require no specific type of audience: anyone can listen to them and learn something. Many stories in non-Native societies serve a similar purpose, and I hope that after “Open Your Ears” is concluded, the audience will understand the importance of stories both within and without Native American society.