File puptcrit/puptcrit.0707, message 263

To: <>
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2007 23:32:34 -0400
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] puppetry and racial problems

There was a book by Idris Shah called World Tales.
Don't know if it can still be found it was a remainder like 35 years ago.
The stories were all cross cultural and cross ethnic cross referenced with 
comparable stories listed from other cultures..
Like I remember one being listed as a Native American  (The tribe was 
listed) Cinderella.

I believe that Aesop's fables became a repository of moral based cautionary 
tales from all over...not just his......
I also read that Aesop (read Ethiop) gained his freedom by telling the 
stories...became a tax collector and was killed (thrown over a mountain) by 
some folk who were not really intent on paying...


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Wayne Krefting" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2007 6:07 PM
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] puppetry and racial problems

> This a bit long, but I think addresses, in part, the question of using 
> pieces of cross cultural heritage. At bottom, Aesop was a slave and lived 
> in Greece in 2500 years ago, yet his tales are as relevant today, to any 
> culture, as then, and are retold in cultures world-wide. Thus,
> From: "Christopher Hudert" <>
> "when we have used puppets and/or stories from other cultures/races. . . 
> there are occasional objections that we are stealing their culture . . . 
> another case of the white man [oppression}. . . My take is that if the 
> story speaks to me and/or something I want
> to address, and I can do it well, it should not matter what background I 
> come from."
> Julius Lester, author, teacher, and extraordinary storyteller, in the 
> foreword to the first of his "The Tales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of 
> Brer Rabbit", concurs saying, "I have been asked many times whether it is 
> all right for a white person to tell black folktales. 'I can't tell them 
> the way you do,' is the inevitable plaint. Of course not, buy why should 
> that be a consideration? Undoubtedly, a black person with roots in the 
> southern black tradition will bring an added dimension to the telling of 
> these tales to which most whites will not have access. That does not bar 
> whites from telling them.
> "The most important element in telling these tales, or any folktale, is, 
> do you love the tale? [Folktales, he notes earlier, are not cultural 
> artifacts, but "we are the tale and folktales are a mirror in which we can 
> see our particular story."] After all, what is a tale except a means of 
> expressing live for this experience we call being human. If you love the 
> tale, and tell it with love, the tale will communicate. If the language 
> you speak is different from the language I speak, tell the tale in  your 
> language. Tell the tale as you would, not I, and believe in the tale. . .
> "The tales will live only if they flow through your voice. The suffering 
> of those slaves who created the tales will be redeemed (to a degree at 
> least) if you receive their offering and make it a part of your life."
> Empathy for the only race--the human race--trumps all.
> Wayne Krefting
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