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Anywhere you go in the world, there are folktales specific to that region. Alaska is no exception with such a wide expanse of land populated by a variety of peoples. For this month’s Poppins Book Nook, I thought it would be fun to share a small selection of Alaskan folktales.
Alaskan Folktales Involving the Raven
One common animal that appears in different stories for this area is the raven. It is not specific to Alaska, but rather the entire Northwest region of North America. If you come to Alaska and spend any time here, you’ll begin to notice this bird making a regular appearance near you.
We actually had a strange experience one Sunday morning after leaving church. From when we left church until we stopped at the Fred Meyer near our house, we had a raven that was flying alongside the vehicle just outside of the passenger side door. When we stopped at a light, the raven stopped. When we began driving again, the raven began flying again. I have no idea what meaning someone might give to that occurrence, but I do know that it seemed really odd to us and was starting to freak out a few of the boys.
As you can see from the titles, the primary theme of the raven folktales is that Raven is how light came to the world. What the boys and I discussed is how people with no knowledge of God and the Creation Story would come up with their own ideas. It is confirmation that we know there is something larger than us and that the world didn’t just ‘happen’ to come into place, yet people looked to the world around them to come up with how it happened.
A Sampling of Other Alaskan Folktales
The books pictured above were found in our local library. Depending upon how your library does things, you may find that for the adult titles (e.g. Walking the Choctaw Road and Favorite Eskimo Tales Retold) there is a separate section for all regional titles separate from the main collection. That’s how our local library system does it.
Here are a few other Alaskan folktales that I didn’t find on our local library’s shelf. The Polar Bear Son: An Inuit Tale
Alaskan Folktales ~ Activities to Do
If reading one of the titles related to the story of Raven bringing light to the world, I highly recommend taking time with your child(or children) and discussing your family’s belief in how the world came to be. For us, that means pulling out the Bible and reading through Genesis. You can also discuss what scientists have theorized about the creation of the universe and how Earth came to be. We have not been watching it as we ditched cable in our house, but I’ve talked to a few people who have watched the new Cosmos series and raved about aspects of it.
Taking the Raven tales a step further could include a small study on ravens. Here are some coloring pages to get your started.
Raven Coloring Page on Super Coloring (where you can ‘color’ online)
Learn more about Alaskan Native people, starting on the Alaska Native Heritage Center website. I shared about a visit we paid to it in three parts: Alaska Native Heritage Center visit, Part I, Alaska Native Heritage Center visit, Part 2 and Alaska Native Heritage Center, Part 3.
And for the audiovisual lovers out there, you can watch a snippet of a Yup’ik tale, The Boy Who Ate Too Much:
Are there any folktales for your specific area?
What are some of your favorite folktales?
This post is part of the Poppins Book Nook.
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama
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Curious about what is coming up with Poppins Book Nook? Check out the upcoming themes! Clip Art by Melon Headz.