He was the last great talker in our clan. He told stories softly so that you had to lean close to him and hear, so close you could smell the smoke in the hide ribbon my mother weaved into his hair, the scent of his neck like the wind coming off the Great Salt Bay. I used to imagine that he weaved his stories all summer, his words forming invisible nets that he cast over us on the long winter nights, capturing us and pulling us in closer so that we collected each other’s warmth. And sometimes his stories were all that we had to keep us alive.
What does this say about story telling and oral history? How is western story telling different, if at all?