“Native American Storytelling: Female Storytellers in Native culture. Presence in Contemporary Native American Literature. Leslie Marmon Silko




The role of Native American women has been extensively debated. Much has been said about their relationship with men and their relevance within the tribe. One of the most important tasks they had was that of storytellers. Storytelling is one of the pillars of Native American culture since it helped to transmit their values and folklore and keep them alive and that is why women’s role as storytellers is fundamental for the survival of the tribe. Although this role has often been shared with men, it seems that the relationship of women with storytelling is more complex, valuable and relevant than that of men. This is shown in their characterization in traditional Native American myths or in the fact that old traditional Native American women and storytellers became the source of inspiration of many contemporary writers, such as Silko, Erdrich or Allen, who took them as models for their novels. Silko exemplifies with her novels Almanac of the Dead and Ceremony this fundamental role of Native Women and the influence they had on her life and writing.

El rol de la mujer Nativo Americana ha sido extensamente debatido. Mucho se ha dicho de su relación con los hombres o de su relevancia dentro de las diferentes tribus. Sin embargo, uno de las tareas más importantes es la de cuenta cuentos. La tradición oral es uno de los pilares de la cultura Nativo Americana ya que ha ayudado a transmitir sus valores y folklore y mantenerlos vivos, y por eso el rol de la mujer como cuenta cuentos es fundamental para la supervivencia de la tribu. Aunque este papel también lo ha llevado a cabo el hombre, parece que la relación de las mujeres con la tradición oral es más compleja, de mayor valor y más relevante que la del hombre. De hecho, esto se manifiesta en la caracterización de la mujer en mitos Nativo Americanos, o en el hecho de que estas mujeres Nativo Americanas y cuentacuentos se convierten en la fuente de inspiración de muchos autores contemporáneos, como Silko, Erdrich o Allen, que las toman como modelos para sus novelas. Silko ejemplifica con sus obras Almanac of the Dead y Ceremony este papel fundamental de la mujer Nativo Americana y la influencia que ha tenido su vida y su obra.


KEYWORDS: Native American women, storytelling, storytellers, Leslie Marmon Silko.

PALABRAS CLAVE: Mujeres Nativo Americanas, tradición oral, cuenta cuentos, Leslie Marmon Silko.


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Author Biography


English literature and linguistics


Works Cited

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How to Cite

PEREZ GARCIA, A. B. (2016). “Native American Storytelling: Female Storytellers in Native culture. Presence in Contemporary Native American Literature. Leslie Marmon Silko. The Grove - Working Papers on English Studies, 22. Retrieved from https://revistaselectronicas.ujaen.es/index.php/grove/article/view/2218