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.
In rough frontier cabins, tidy farmhouses, and elegant townhouses, Americans in the 1800s were dedicated to living as well and as comfortably as their circumstances allowed. The American home was a sacred institution, the seat of family life where the patriarch ruled with Mother at his side as guardian of the home, and the children were raised with strict discipline and strong values. Changes in taste and fashion, improvements in technology (indoor plumbing and a host of new laborsaving devices), and social change transformed home and family life in the 1800s, as opportunities for leisure activities and commercially produced consumer goods came within reach of the average American. But the strong American tradition of the sanctity of the home, consumerism, and the importance of a happy family life has its roots in the homes of nineteenth century Americans.
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.