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ERIC Number: ED168087
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Apr
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Indian Wisdom Stories.
Blanche, Jerry D.
Rather than simply recreating a real or imagined event or experience for entertainment purposes, the wisdom stories of the American Indians were sophisticated teaching devices that kept alive the history and traditions of the tribe at the same time that they instructed the young tribe members in the areas of history, geography, nature study, and ethics. Centuries old, these stories were passed by word of mouth from generation to generation and their telling was entrusted to persons who were highly respected within the tribe. Each story was constructed so as to stimulate inductive and deductive thinking by providing alternate viewpoints and by challenging the listener to formulate individual conclusions. Some of the concepts and principles that are found consistently in Indian wisdom literature include the following: an Indian is a human being capable of good and bad behavior, who lives according to the traditions of the fathers; the word "different" does not involve a value judgment; decision making is a human function and the only wrong decisions are choices never made; everything is alive and has a spirit, even rocks and trees; and power is the capacity to overcome human weakness without physical dominance, rather than the ability to rule others. (MAI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference on Minority Studies (3rd, LaCrosse, Wisconsin, April 1975)