RoseAnn Abrahamson gets the audience to participate in her storytelling.
By ROSELYNN YAZZIE
FORT HALL — Sharing knowledge was the purpose of the Community Storytelling event hosted by the 477 Human Services Department on Thursday, January 3.
People sat in a circle and some children sat on the floor as they listened to the storytellers. Storytellers were Rose Ann Abrahamson, Wynona Charles, Taylor Thomas, Larry Murillo and Nelson Racehorse.
477 Human Services Director Larry Murillo said telling stories is important to the community for a number of reasons and the most important is it brings people together. He talked about how people need to teach their children so they can learn and grown up and be responsible and helpful towards one another.
“This is one way we can promote ourselves to our own community,” he said. “Instead of having television, radio and Internet and all these things giving messages to us. That’s where we’re getting our messages from and there’s why there’s so much confusion.”
Murillo talked about the importance of words and how elders need to talk to the younger generation. Prior to the storytelling Charles was asked to say the prayer for the event and Murillo sang a prayer song.
Abrahamson talked about how this time of the year was when people learned about Deniwappe and history. She said they were taught things to learn about life and stories taught lessons.
Charles comes from Owyhee, Nev. She told stories and taught children to count in Shoshone. She said the purpose of storytelling was to help the children understand and introduce them to the language. She also sang circle songs to get the crowd moving and in happy spirits.
Murillo shared a funny story about animals, otter, coyote and bear. He also talked about fishing and hunting and the tradition of giving away their first kill.
Thomas shared the Shoshone creation story, which was told to her by Drusilla Gould. The story makes the connection to everyone, the water, the people, the plants, to other people, to the surrounding area, to the environment. She asked people to think of themselves as a part of the story.
Murillo encouraged people to visit their elders and to learn from one another.
“We need to share our lives with each other. We need to share our thoughts and mostly our cultural traditions, stories, songs and beliefs. If we do that we will make ourselves that much richer,” he said.
Murillo believed sharing would lead to a happier way of living.