Wisdom of the land and the environment in oral traditions: between Cherokee and Negev tribes

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Muath Qadous (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
Mae Claxton

Abstract: The oral tradition of any native community is considered as cornerstone and a powerful tool for the members. The Cherokee and the Negev tribes have long histories of oral traditions that are important for their members and their survival. The significant aspect of examining both oral traditions is the meaningful intersection that will arise between them, even though the two tribes are in two different continents. So, in my thesis, I will study the oral traditions of the Cherokee and the Negev tribes, and try to uncover the numerous similarities between them. I will start by discussing the backgrounds and histories of both tribes, which are similar in many ways. I will also shed light on the settings in which the oral histories and stories are transmitted. Both tribes have unique settings that storytelling, and other oral tradition practices, take place in, which is important to highlight. The changes that happen to the stories in the oral traditions of the Cherokee and Negev tribes will also be part of my research, as the change is significant and reveals many cultural and traditional values and meanings. Another focus in my research will be on land, and how it is reflected in the oral traditions. The Cherokee and the Negev people live on unique and special landscapes, which were reflected in their oral traditions. For instance, the Cherokee tribe is surrounded by mountains that shaped its oral tradition. Similarly, the Negev tribes live in a desert that strongly affected the values and the images in their stories. However, I mainly argue in my research that the oral tradition is the main constituent of the tribe. The oral traditions of both Cherokee and Negev tribes carry values and teachings that are highly appreciated by the members. I can also be claimed that the values reflected in the oral traditions of the two tribes create an efficient education system for the members. In the conduct of the research, I will use LeAnne Howe's theory of “tribalography,” which provides a framework for the understanding of tribal storytelling. In her theory, LeAnne Howe argues that storytellers use certain elements, such as the land, the people, and the social environment, from the tribe they belong to. Thus, studying and examining the overlapping between the Cherokee and the Negev tribes will provide a better and more solid understanding of “tribalography.” Finally, in my research, I aim to enhance the connections between the Native American and the Palestinian communities, which can also invite more research on similar topics.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Cherokee, Environment, Land, Negev, Oral, Tradition
Cherokee Indians
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Cherokee Nation
Negev (Israel) -- Tribes
Oral tradition
Oral history

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