All early humans told stories orally. This paved
the way for literature to evolve. The Natives
could not read or write so they transferred their
knowledge through language. Members of the
tribe listen and retold to the stories, to create a
path for literacy. The stories told had a plot,
setting, themes, imagery, and symbolism. When
Homo sapiens learned to write they wrote out
their history, stories, and traditions down to keep
a record of them.
Storytelling is one of the oldest ways folklore
art. Traditions and cultural beliefs are the main
purpose for storytelling. Throughout centuries
Native Americans have been known to use
storytelling as a form of expression of historical
moments. This form of art has been passed
down from generation to generations.
Storytelling develops communication abilities,
expands the imagination, and builds self-
Dedicates service to spirits of the ancestors.
Religious ceremonial dolls called "Kachina
Brings a good harvest.
There are over 900 varieties of the doll each
representing a different spirit.
In the language of the Pueblo Indians the word
kachina means “life bringer”. Kachina dolls
symbolize ancestral spirits that resided in the
mountains. Native American Indians belief is
that the kachinas delivered prayers directly to
the tribal Gods. They also believed that the
kachinas showed the indigenous people how to
live and respect the earth. Throughout certain
times of year kachina dolls are received as gifts
to women and children.
Native Americans used tribal songs and dance to
portray their stories. They channeled their stories
with their spiritual attributes, in order for cultural
Rhythmic, soul-enriching dance
Teaches history and traditions
Music, Song, and Dance
Native American Indians created gods and
spiritual beings to symbolize and justify current
Across regions Native American symbols can vary
from one tribe to another. A variation of symbols were
used on numerous objects for several different
symbolic interpretations. Secret symbols used by
Indian warriors were depicted by body decoration
such as; sorts of War paint. Majority of the symbols
were of nature, religion, and comic beliefs. Others
symbols served as communication to other tribal
members and identity of tribes. Some conveyed
immediate secret messages. A few of Native American
symbols were particularly for individual families to be
passed down to one generation to the other. Some
symbols were even provided for direction purposes.
Native American Symbols
Symbols and signs have been used for a variation
of diverse reasons in the Native American culture
and were illustrated on several objects and
articles utilized by the women, men and children
of the tribes.
Native American Symbols
Art was embark on by the indigenous ancestors
to depict artistic or religious connotations,
represented events or were shaped as a form of
enchantment. Imageries of cryptic Mythical
beings and creatures are also presented on Rock
Art. Rock Art presented ‘tribal historians’ that
produced pictorial or inscribed records. Rock art
is one of the oldest forms of record keeping.
Two different styles of rock art styles are symbolic
pictographs and petroglyphs.
Rock Art continued..
The tradition of storytelling is less common today
than it was years ago. Some authors though do
use it (native and non native) and promised to
preserve these stories to even keep this promise
from elder tribe members.
Tracey. “Native American Stories: A Tradition of
Storytelling. “Native American Stories: A Tradition of
Storytelling.” Native American Art. Prairie Edge, 19
Jan. 2011. Web 06 Sept. 2012.
Phillips, Louis. “The Role of Storytelling in Early
Literacy Development – by Louise Phillips.”