domingo, 4 de noviembre de 2012

Tales from around the world

In the African folk tales, the stories reflect the culture where animals abound; consequently, the monkey, elephant, giraffe, lion, zebra, crocodile, and rhinoceros appear frequently along with a wide variety of birds such as the ostrich, the secretary bird, and the eagle. The animals and birds take on human characteristics of greed, jealousy, honesty, loneliness, etc. Through their behavior, many valuable lessons are learned. Also, the surroundings in which the tales take place reveal the vastness of the land and educate the reader about the climate, such as the dry season when it hasn't rained for several years, or the rainy season when the hills are slick with mud. The acacia trees swaying in a gentle breeze, muddy streams that are home to fish, hippos and crocodiles, moss covered rocks, and giant ant hills that serve as a "back scratcher" for huge elephants, give the reader a sense of the variety of life in this parched or lush land in this part of the world.
Folk tales and myths serve as a means of handing down traditions and customs from one generation to the next. The storytelling tradition has thrived for generations because of the absence of printed material. Folk tales prepare young people for life, as there are many lessons to be learned from the tales. Because of the history of this large continent, which includes the forceful transplanting of the people into slavery on other continents, many of the same folk tales exist in North America, South America, and the West Indies. These are told with little variation, for the tales were spread by word of mouth and were kept among the African population. In addition to the folk tales, there are myths, legends, many proverbs, tongue twisters, and riddles. In the African folk tales, the stories reflect the culture where animals abound; consequently, the monkey, elephant, giraffe, lion, zebra, crocodile, and rhinoceros appear frequently along with a wide variety of birds such as the ostrich, the secretary bird, and the eagle. The animals and birds take on human characteristics of greed, jealousy, honesty, loneliness, etc.

In Latin American folktales, as in folktales throughout the world, children of Latin decent will be introduced to characters who reflect their own diverse culture. All  children need strong role models to give them a broader perspective and validate their experiences. These three Latin American tales are authentic connections to their lives. This validation is important not only for Latino children, but to help individuals from all cultures enjoy and learn from the Latino experience.

Folktales evolved over the centuries from storytelling. The oral tradition offered entertainment, recounted history, and explained the unexplainable. Additionally, morals and the social values of a culture could be taught in a subtle manner allowing the listener to draw his or her own conclusions. The mysterious, miraculous, and the unknown engage even the youngest listeners. Magical forces enable the heroes and heroines to combat injustice and evil. Characters and their accompanying problems, whether animals or human, frequently are depicted as everyday beings found in all societies. Participants, therefore, can freely relate to the adventures and enjoy the world of fantasy while stimulating their imagination.

The folktales found in this unit are included because the characters are, for the most part, ordinary people or animals. These characters are going about their daily lives when the unexpected occurs or mistakes are made. These mistakes and occurrences are easily identifiable by the students, allowing them to make inferences about the outcomes.

 The Asian Tales originated with the aim of allowing children and parents to easily experience the culture, heritage, and fantastic old-fashioned story-telling of Asian folk and fairy tales.

With lush stylised illustrations and a strong narrative arc, kids will enjoy these stories and be prompted to seek out fairy tale universes and characters of Asian values.

Asian Tales features:
- Voice-recording function for parents to narrate the story, to transform this into a personalised storybook for every child.
- Voice-recording also lets your child practice reading out loud, and boost confidence by hearing their voices become part of the app.
- "Listen to story" option has voice-over narration in a child's voice, for a story told by one child to another.
- Large fonts for children to read independently.

 Perennial favourites of Australian children's literature include Norman Lindsay's ''The Magic Pudding'', Ethel Pedley's ''Dot and the Kangaroo'', May Gibbs' ''Snugglepot and Cuddlepie]]'', and more. These  classic works employ [[Anthropomorphism]] to bring alive the creatures of the [[Australian bush]], thus Bunyip Bluegum of ''The Magic Pudding'' is a koala who leaves his tree in search of adventure, while  Dot of ''Dot and the kangaroo'' is a little girl lost in the bush, who befriends a group of [[marsupials]]. May Gibbs  crafted a story of protagonists modelled on the appearance of young Eucalyptus ([[gum tree]]) nuts and pitted these ''gumnut babies'', [[Snugglepot and Cuddlepie]], against the antagonist [[Banksia|Banksia men]]. Gibbs' influence has lasted through the generations - contemporary children's author [[Ursula Dubosarsky]] has cited "Snugglepot and Cuddlepie" as one of her favourite books.

Jackie French, widely described as Australia's most popular children's author, has written about 170 books, including two Children's Book of the Year Award winners. One of them, the critically acclaimed ''Hitler's Daughter'' (1999), is a "what if?" story that explores mind-provoking issues about what would have happened if Adolf Hitler had had a daughter.
Paul Jennings (Australian author)is a prolific writer of contemporary Australian fiction for young people whose career began with 1985's collection of short stories ''Unreal!'' and whose popular works include ''Round The Twist'' which was adapted for television.

Here I chose an example of Australian folktales I liked most.

Narahdarn the bat

Narahdarn, the bat, wanted honey. He watched until he saw a Wurranunnah, or bee, alight. He caught it, stuck a white feather between its hind legs, let it go and followed it. He knew he could see the white feather, and so follow the bee to its nest. He ordered his two wives, of the Bilber tribe, to follow him with wirrees to carry home the honey in. Night came on and Wurranunnah the bee had not reached home. Narahdarn caught him, imprisoned him under bark, and kept him safely there until next morning. When it was light enough to see, Narahdarn let the bee go again, and followed him to his nest, in a gunnyanny tree. Marking the tree with his comebo that he might know it again, he returned to hurry on his wives who were some way behind. He wanted them to come on, climb the tree, and chop out the honey. When they reached the marked tree one of the women climbed up. She called out to Narahdarn that the honey was in a split in the tree. He called back to her to put her hand in and get it out. She put her arm in, but found she could not get it out again. Narahdarn climbed up to help her, but found when he reached her that the only way to free her was to cut off her arm. This he did before she had time to realise what he was going to do, and protest. So great was the shock to her that she died instantly. Narahdarn carried down her lifeless body and commanded her sister, his other wife, to go up, chop out the arm, and get the honey. She protested, declaring the bees would have taken the honey away by now.

"Not so," he said; "go at once."

Every excuse she could think of, to save herself, she made. But her excuses were in vain, and Narahdarn only became furious with her for making them, and, brandishing his boondi, drove her up the tree. She managed to get her arm in beside her sister's, but there it stuck and she could not move it. Narahdarn, who was watching her, saw what had happened and followed her up the tree. Finding he could not pull her arm out, in spite of her cries, he chopped it off, as he had done her sister's. After one shriek, as he drove his comebo through her arm, she was silent. He said, "Come down, and I will chop out the bees' nest." But she did not answer him, and he saw that she too was dead. Then he was frightened, and climbed quickly down the gunnyanny tree; taking her body to the ground with him, he laid it beside her sister's, and quickly he hurried from the spot, taking no further thought of the honey. As he neared his camp, two little sisters of his wives ran out to meet him, thinking their sisters would be with him, and that they would give them a taste of the honey they knew they had gone out to get. But to their surprise Narahdarn came alone, and as he drew near to them they saw his arms were covered with blood. And his face had a fierce look on it, which frightened them from even asking where their sisters were. They ran and told their mother that Narahdarn had returned alone, that he looked fierce and angry, also his arms were covered with blood. Out went the mother of the Bilbers, and she said, "Where are my daughters, Narahdarn? Forth went they this morning to bring home the honey you found. You come back alone. You bring no honey. Your look is fierce, as of one who fights, and your arms are covered with blood. Tell me, I say, where are my daughters?"

"Ask me not, Bilber. Ask Wurranunnah the bee, he may know. Narahdarn the bat knows nothing." And he wrapped himself in a silence which no questioning could pierce. Leaving him there, before his camp, the mother of the Bilbers returned to her dardurr and told her tribe that her daughters were gone, and Narahdarn, their husband, would tell her nothing of them. But she felt sure he knew their fate, and certain she was that he had some tale to tell, for his arms were covered with blood.

The chief of her tribe listened to her. When she had finished and begun to wail for her daughters, whom she thought she would see no more, he said, "Mother of the Bilbers, your daughters shall be avenged if aught has happened to them at the hands of Narahdarn. Fresh are his tracks, and the young men of your tribe shall follow whence they have come, and finding what Narahdarn has done, swiftly shall they return. Then shall we hold a corrobboree, and if your daughters fell at his hand Narahdarn shall be punished."

The mother of the Bilbers said: "Well have you spoken, oh my relation. Now speed ye the young men lest the rain fall or the dust blow and the tracks be lost." Then forth went the fleetest footed and the keenest eyed of the young men of the tribe. Ere long, back they came to the camp with the news of the fate of the Bilbers.

That night was the corrobboree held. The women sat round in a half-circle, and chanted a monotonous chant, keeping time by hitting, some of them, two boomerangs together, and others beating their rolled up opossum rugs.

Big fires were lit on the edge of the scrub, throwing light on the dancers as they came dancing out from their camps, painted in all manner of designs, waywahs round their waists, tufts of feathers in their hair, and carrying in their hands painted wands. Heading the procession as the men filed out from the scrub into a cleared space in front of the women, came Narahdarn. The light of the fires lit up the tree tops, the dark balahs showed out in fantastic shapes, and weird indeed was the scene as slowly the men danced round; louder clicked the boomerangs and louder grew the chanting of the women; higher were the fires piled, until the flames shot their coloured tongues round the trunks of the trees and high into the air. One fire was bigger than all, and towards it the dancers edged Narahdarn; then the voice of the mother of the Bilbers shrieked in the chanting, high above that of the other women. As Narahdarn turned from the fire to dance back he found a wall of men confronting him. These quickly seized him and hurled him into the madly-leaping fire before him, where he perished in the flames. And so were the Bilbers avenged.

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