Grand Village hosts annual storytelling

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 27, 2001

Stories of Indians and animals delighted guests Saturday at the 16th annual Eleventh Moon Storytelling at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians.

&uot;(The program) was very, very good this year,&uot; said Jean Simonton, historian at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians.

&uot;The stories were all interesting. The storytellers have all really really worked on their stories.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

The Junior Gardeners of Natchez attended the program as invited guests.

&uot;We (attend) every year,&uot; said Denise Seale, chairman of the Junior Gardeners of Natchez.

The girls are able to learn about Indian life and history through the program, she said.

Many of the Junior Gardeners all picked the same story as their favorite for the day. &uot;I liked the one about the black bear,&uot; said Sarah Michael, a thought echoed by many of her friends.

Four storytellers, Joan McLemore, Sandra Peoples, Sam Jones and Ginger Cox, took turns telling stories to the packed meeting room.

Stories ranged from classic stories of Brer Rabbit and Brer Possum to stories about Indian life, animals and the creation of the world.

Cox, a Native American of Cherokee and Mohawk descent told a story about why animals are so afraid of people.

Because the animals were being abused by humans &uot;the creator&uot; decided he would no longer allow the animals to &uot;speak to the humans or guide them or protect them.&uot;

In order to walk a &uot;path of beauty&uot; humans still seek the spirit of those animals today, Cox added.

Eleventh Moon Storytelling is named such because January was eleventh moon or month on the Natchez Indians’ calendar The cold winter months were also a typical time for storytelling for the Natchez Indian Tribe, Simonton said.

One couple from as far away as Nebraska happened to attend the program.

Raymond and Margaret Nichols said they were visiting a friend in Slidell, La. and decided they wanted to visit Natchez to see some antebellum houses.

They heard about the storytelling program after arriving in town.

&uot;You could tell that (the storytellers) thoroughly enjoy their art,&uot; said Margaret Nichols, a former English teacher. &uot;And it is art.&uot;