Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 10: American Indian Fairy Tales

These are my notes for the American Indian Fairy Tales unitAs there were only six stories total this time (long ones!), I decided to take notes on each one.

Iagoo, the Story-Teller. I really liked ALL the questions that Iagoo knows the answers to; I wonder how many of these questions will show up in the stories for the unit. I am glad that Coyote may make an appearance!

Shin-ge-bis Fools the North Wind. I loved the idea of Shingebis wrestling the North Wind out there in the midst of a winter storm! "Cheerfulness and courage can overcome even the North Wind" - indeed! The sense of good humor about this one was really charming, too; it is not just that Shingebis was fearless and clever - he really was cheerful!

The Little Boy and Girl in the Clouds. I love the way Coyote is presented in this story - wise and bossy! Having a worm hero is also really cool. It's kind of weird having these stories from all over combined together, but the story of El Capitan is indeed a very cool story, and it was fun to see a story here that I recognized, too, since it is in Judson's California book, although I did not recognize it for sure until we got to the worm!

The Child of the Evening Star. I really like how this is a story of the "other world" (the land of the Evening Star, up in the sky)... I would really like to put together a collection of the Native American stories about these journeys to the other world; they are so cool. I also liked how this was about the origin of the Pukwudjies! I think this is my favorite of the stories because it has such a great fairy tale feel to it while at the same time a really sympathetic hero AND heroine.

The Boy who Snared the Sun. Who can resist a story that starts off with " the biggest of all the beasts was the Dormouse"...! Ha! And I loved the part about the Coyote howling to try to wake the sleeping dormouse... a GIANT sleeping dormouse, since that is back when the Dormouse was as big as a mountain!

How the Summer Came. I like the idea that at first we cannot be sure whether the hero of this story, Ojeeg, is a manito or not! He has supernatural powers, but at the same time we can relate to him as a man, someone who meets his fate as we do, even if he does so up there in the sky. It's a wonderful star story! In fact, I guess it is a toss-up: I am not sure if this one, or Evening Star is my favorite of the book!

The Fairy Bride. I like the way this story has mischievous fairies but also the otherworldly fairy, the "Evergreen" who bridges this world and some other world. What a contrast to the hunting-fixated man that the heroine might have had to marry otherwise!

The illustrations were very nice; the one I liked best was this one from the story about the North Wind, showing the wind as a fierce man:

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