Native American Literature

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Native American Literature Storytelling Culture Introduction Native American author Nadine Thader has written a book called The Importance of Storytelling for the Survival of Native American Religion, and in the book Thader describes the way legends and stories were shared from one generation to another, and she insists that the "most important function (of storytelling) is to "display Native American religion" (Thader, 2009, p 21). In fact much the history of Native American tribes has been and is today preserved through the art of storytelling. Thader references Arthur Grove Day, who explained that Indians made poems for many reasons, among them, to: a) praise their gods; b) speak to gods through rites; c) work "magical cures" or ask for "supernatural aid in hunting"; d) "chronicle tribal history"; e) teach proper conduct and explain the origins of the world; f) arouse laughter or ridicule "a rival or bewitch an enemy"; g) mark the "beauties of nature"; and h) to "boast of one's greatness" or to simply express joy and a "spirit of fun" (Thader, 21). Thader explains that one of the narrative strategies used by Native Americans is through "trickster stories"; tricksters are those that make mischief, play tricks, tell stories reflecting "the consequences of stupidity, greed and inappropriate behavior" that are supposed to be funny and make people laugh, Thader explains on page 23. An example of a trickster doing "good deeds" is Raven, whose story was originally told in
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