11th Moon storytelling takes stage

Published 12:02 am Thursday, January 26, 2012

Grand Village of the Natchez Indians is ready once again to host its 27th annual 11th Moon Storytelling from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the museum auditorium.

The Grand Village is located at 400 Jefferson Davis Blvd. The event is recommended for children ages 9 to 99, and light refreshments will be served. Please note admission is free!

Although this storytelling event is only in its 27th year, the tradition dates back long before the written word. Cultures from around the world used storytelling to educate and entertain their people. In some cultures the storyteller was highly revered among their people. Today’s fairy tales continue to teach lessons to our children. Even Reader’s Digest featured an article on how fairy tales in our youth helped shape our philosophies on life and finance. The fable of the “Ant and the Grasshopper” teaches everyone to work hard so they will be rewarded in the end, and therefore some people do and they are great workers and savers. American Indian stories are very much the same; however, most of us have never heard these stories before.

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Traditionally, the Natchez Indians would tell their tales during harsh winter months when they had more spare time. Eleventh Moon, for which our event is named, is based on the Natchez calendar. For them, the Eleventh Moon was the celebration of Cold Meal. But don’t worry; neither cold grits nor corn meal will be the refreshments, we prefer cookies and lemonade.

This year features some of our favorite regional storytellers such as Sam Jones, Maryanne Raley and Kay McNeil. These storytellers take time out of their busy schedules to learn new tales to share with the public. If you are a student who wants to get extra credit for public speaking we would be happy to hear a tale or two from you. Just remember all of our tales are based on Native American or nature stories.

The great thing about the stories you will hear is there is something for everyone no matter what you are interested in.

We have romance, mystery, spooky tales and trickster tales.

Another great thing about these tales is that they are universal in all cultures. Just as scientists always question, “Which came first the chicken or the egg?” storytellers question where the tales originated.

Many tales that are acknowledged as being Native American are also African. As we meet people, we exchange our stories and adapt them to our own style; the Native Americans did the same with their stories.

We hear something we like and we forward it to our friends via e-mail, telephone or text message.

Bring your family or bring a friend, everyone is welcome to come and enjoy these stories of long ago.

If you would like more information on this event, please call the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians at 601-446-6502.


Becky Martin Anderson is the historian II at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians.