Does your family have a favorite holiday meal? What are your birthday traditions? Do the older people in your family tell stories about their childhood and what life was like when they were young? All these are parts of family folklore. Tell Me a Story will help you better understand: what family is; the ways the generations are linked together; how families relate to each other; and how families pass along a heritage for the future. We get strength from our family's past, and this sort of folklore also gives us hope for the future.
Have you heard of Anansi, the mischief-making spider from Africa? Do you know about the Blackfoot woman who married a star? Or have you heard stories about Jack, the hero who always wins both the treasure and the princess's heart? Discover stories from North America's folklore, including tales about: why the world is the way it is; heroes and fools; ghosts and horrors; and death and the world to come. Stories have power. They share the wisdom of other generations. They stir our imagination. They give us hope and courage. And sometimes they just make us laugh!
Have you heard these common proverbs? Let sleeping dogs lie. Where there's smoke, there's fire. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Or what about these riddles? What is black and white and red (read) all over? Why did the chicken cross the road? Why is 6 afraid of 7? Proverbs and riddles are tiny, bite-size pieces of folklore. They make us think. They tease our brains. They may make us laugh. But most of all, they tell us something about who we are and how we see the world.
Did you know that if you drop a spoon, someone will kiss you soon? Did you ever hear that three spiders crawling on the wall are a sign you will soon hear of a death? Or did you know that if rabbits play in a dusty road, rain is on its way? These beliefs are folk customs found in North America. Discover more, including: ways to predict the future; weather lore; and good luck superstitions. Folklore is shared through customs and traditions. These are patterns that shape our lives. Even in today's world, we still depend on these old ways to make sense out of life.
Did you know that todays jolly Santa Claus was originally a Catholic bishop? Or that Santa Claus is connected to Saturn, an ancient Roman god? Or that in some places, Santa rides a camel? Christmas is a holiday of light and giving, and Santa Claus has become a traditional symbol for the seasons deepest meanings. Learn more about: Santa the Christ Child Christmas animals the Wise Men Christmas plants Christmas songs and cards. Across North America, Christmas is an occasion for love and joy and celebration. Discover the traditions and folklore that make this holiday so special.
Confucius was a teacher and philosopher living in fifth-century China. His ideas about the ways people should behave and treat each other are still part of Chinese culture and education, with Chinese students studying his ideas almost 2,500 years after his death. In the modern world, few philosophers are as well known or as often quoted as Confucius. Learn the story of one of the most important philosophers of all time in Confucius: Great Chinese Philosopher.
Native Americans have an incredibly rich store of knowledge when it comes to using herbs and plants to heal illness, treat injuries, and cure disease. In fact, some of their traditions have found a place in the modern medicines we use today. This book discusses the nature-based approach Native Americans took towards healing. It also examines important figures, such as shamans and medicine men, and explains some of the remedies and rituals that were conducted.
Native Americans loved to play games. From the United States to Mexico to Canada, tribes everywhere played games as part of their rituals, to cure diseases, to make crops grow, or sometimes, just for the pure fun of the sport. This book discusses the types of games played by various tribes in specific regions. It also explains how these games were played, and the significance-religious and social-of each contest.
While Native American religious beliefs vary from tribe to tribe, the one thing they have in common is a belief in a higher power. This power has many names: Manitou, Wakanda, Sila, or even just the Great Spirit. This book discusses the various beliefs held by tribes in each region of the Americas. It also describes some of the important rituals practiced in each religion.
The Native Americans fought with other tribes for a variety of reasons. Depending on the area in which they lived, a tribe could fight for territory, possessions, or simply as a matter of pride or to right a perceived wrong. This book discusses some of the best known Native American rivalries, the reasons behind them, and the impact the arrival of Europeans during the 16th through the 19th centuries had on these rivalries.
The tools and weapons used by Native American tribes were not just functional. Often, these tools and weapons were created during a special ceremony or ritual, so there was a spiritual significance to them as well. Shamans or medicine men would bless such items in the hope that they would serve their owners well. This book discusses the primary tools and weapons made by tribes in specific regions as well as how these tools and weapons were created and used.
The clothing worn by the members of different Native American tribes reflected their environments. Clothing, jewelry, and other decorative items were made from material found in the area around them-from sealskins and shells to buckskin and porcupine quills. This book discusses common clothing items of various Native American tribes as well as the cultural or religions significance of these items
From the woodland tribes to the tribes of Mexico and the Caribbean and all the way to the Arctic, Native American houses reflected the environments in which various tribes lived. Furthermore, Native American homes also reflected the deep spiritual life of a people. The way in which they were built, the materials used, and even the direction the house faced was significant. This book provides an understanding of the different homes built by the Native Americans from longhouses to tepees to igloos to pueblos.
From pre-Columbian times to the present day, Native Americans have enjoyed celebrating holidays and other special occasions. Tribes celebrated festivals and ceremonies throughout the year. These included everything from significant events in a person's life, the changing of the seasons, the arrival of special people or places, and elements of nature. This book discusses the important festivals and ceremonies celebrated by tribes in specific regions, outlining the form of the festival and how each was celebrated.
To an outsider, Native American family life may seem simple. In reality, the societies within Native American tribes are incredibly rich and complex. Nor is family life the same from tribe to tribe. Some tribes are organized into clans; others trace their lineage according to matrilineal lines. This book discusses some of the familial arrangements of various tribes, including the reasons for such arrangements as well as the roles individuals played in their respective societies.
The diet of Native American tribes reflected the areas in which they lived. For some tribes, like those of the Pacific Northwest, salmon was a staple part of the diet; for the people of the Great Plains, the buffalo was hunted for food. This book discusses the foods common to various tribes as well as the cultural significance certain foods had for specific tribes.
Prior to becoming a "melting pot" of many languages, the continents of North and South America were already home to a variety of Native American tribes, each with its own language. What's more, subsets of tribes often had their own dialects, sometimes making communication between two people nearly impossible, even if they lived near each other. This book discusses the major Native American languages used by tribes in various regions and how some of their words have been incorporated into the English language today.
When Europeans arrived in the Americas during the 16th and 17th centuries, they found that some Native American tribes had created alliances, or confederacies. These agreements allowed the member tribes of the confederacy to control trade and keep the peace in their region. This book explains how these Native American confederacies were formed, discusses some famous examples like the Iroquois Confederacy, and explains how Native American groups continue to work together for the good of all tribes in the present day.
The hunting practices of Native Americans differed throughout North and South America. Some hunted with bows and arrows, others with spears and clubs, and still others with snares and traps. This book discusses the ways in which Native Americans hunted in different regions, the weapons they used, and the types of animals that were hunted. It also describes the rituals the tribes performed before hunting, and explains how they used not only the meat, but also the bones, hide, and sinews of the animals they killed.
Contrary to popular belief, Native Americans did not always have horses to assist them in their daily lives. For thousands of years they carried items themselves or even used dogs. The arrival of the horse in the Americas during the 16th century dramatically changed the lifestyles of many Native American tribes. This was particularly true of the people living on the Great Plains. This book discusses the introduction of the horse to the Native Americans by the Spanish and explains the impact this had on various Native American tribes.