Teachings of the First People: Storytelling and Art as Teaching and Healing
Storytelling has, for countless millennia helped shape and explain the worldview of human tellers and their cultures. Stories give meaning, something science cannot do. There was a time when there were no computers or television or writing and books, but before all these modern communication systems, there was storytelling.
This course will examine the traditional stories, myths, and legends of Native American tribes across the hemisphere, with a special emphasis on the Coast Salish people of the western Washington region. Within these stories the students will look for teachings, values, morals, philosophies, wisdoms, and metaphors that might have meaning in their modern lives.
Telling stories, the act of sharing experiences from one’s life, will also be an important part of this course, allowing students to connect their life stories to ancient paleo-myths as well as search for meaning in stories from their lives.
It will also examine the link between story, storytelling, and art and have students create their own art pieces, drawn from Coast Salish design; art that conveys levels of meaning found within a particular story.