Lance Foster (hengruh) wrote,
Lance Foster
hengruh

Winter is the Time of Storytelling

Winter is the traditional time for storytelling for most Native American tribes, including mine, the Ioway. From the first snow until the snakes wake up in the spring, because the traditions are that the snakes are guardians of the sacred myths and will bite you if they overhear your telling the stories.



Illustration: "Only Stories" by Lance Foster

The Iowa Indians (or Ioway Indians) lived in Iowa for ages untold. Iowa culture and history was passed on though stories. Stories might be of the long-ago time or of prophecies for the future. The stories told people how to live in this world and how to prepare for the next one. In "Only Stories," by Ioway artist Lance M. Foster (Hengruh: "Oldest Son"), it is winter, the traditional time of telling stories. At this time, snakes, the protectors of stories, were asleep and would not hear the stories they were told to defend by Wakanda, God. Here two families are visiting the warmth of their lodge, the chakiruthan. One man is telling a story of the past as well as a story of the future. The time of the past, of the coming of the Ioway clan ancestors, becomes the story of the future, the coming of a strange group of bearded whitemen with machines. Finally, the end of time becomes the beginning of time. In this way, everything becomes a circle and things are made right again. This is the way things have been and will be. This is what the stories tell us. As hard as it may be to believe, can we be certain they are..."Only Stories?"

I created this mini-graphic novel version of one of our Ioway tribal stories, about the origin of the Medicine Dance.



For the rest, go to http://ioway.nativeweb.org/iowaylibrary/mankanye_washi_1.htm
 Click the numbers at the bottom of the page to get to the next page.
Tags: art, iowa, native american, religion, storytelling, winter
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