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BorderLore January 2015  
Tell Me a Story 

Spin yarns, transmit culture 


Listen Up! Witness the power of the narrative.

Wherever stories are told, there are rich and colorful connections within communities. Step into sidewalk conversations, explore storytelling in libraries, knitting circles, bars, faith centers, poetry slams and in ways we hardly notice -- you'll discover stories that fire the imagination, kindle culture and transmit learning. Today's 21st century storytelling harnesses technology to inspire digital, cross-global conversation and social action. Often embellished and joyfully told, stories of words, tone, gesture, expression and images are our life's teacher, and they are made vivid by the interaction of teller and listener.

Stories are part of us and we must pass them on.  


So we invite you to come in and sit a spell, as we share this month's BorderLore stories:  

SFA's fourth Ethnographic Fieldschool was filled with many inspiring story-filled moments. Encouraged to explore "Sense of Place" through creative writing and digital photography, the team immersed itself in cultural experiences -- cooking, ranching, farming and documenting tradition bearers and their folklife. Returning from Banamichi, fieldschool participants are eager to reflect and share their stories. Read how storytelling is both important family tradition and fieldschool learning here. Additionally, BorderLore weaves a tapestry of three fieldschool vignettes  here.

Every day, quiet miracles happen as community pantries, kitchens and food banks serve those in need. The needy are our neighbors, homeless, and impoverished, who span all ages and groups. The nourishment goes beyond the hot soup or the bread loaf. We learn some soup kitchen stories from two in our city (Joseph's Pantry of Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church and Caridad Community Kitchen of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona), here.

Round and round, in clusters across neighborhoods, knitting circles contribute to well being and are mini-engines for storytelling and community engagement. Some use "craftivisim" to bring about social change. Some reflect the traditional arts of our refugee communities. Learn more here.

Odyssey Storytelling encourages adults to stand up and share personal stories. It has brought audiences and tellers together in intimate and sometime hilarious evenings of community collaboration. We asked Penelope Starr to tell us a story of Odyssey's founding, and she does, here.

With the 33rd Annual Wa:k Pow Wow scheduled at San Xavier on March 14 & 15, we look ahead to the meaning of the songs and feathers, the etiquette and the dance movements. Skidi-Pawnee and Tohono O'odham nation member Reva Mariah S. ShieldChief, American Indian Studies Chair of Pawnee Nation College, gives us a perspective here.

Our News Round-up and other resources are here.
Editor's End Note... 


Stories are a treasured part of folklife. May this captivating process always be part of human experience, encouraging us to be both storytellers and listeners.

Those who tell the stories rule the world. -- Hopi
(Winter is storytelling season for the Hopi.)


2015, Southwest Folklife Alliance. All rights reserved. BorderLore is the monthly e-news magazine of Southwest Folklife Alliance, bringing thoughtful documentation about regional folklore, folklife and all manners of artful ways (in language, food, dress, music, decoration, storytelling, history) that residents of these often-conflicted border lands produce and share.   
Managing Editor:   Monica Surfaro-Spigelman 

Thank you for reading this newsletter. We welcome your feedback, commentary and any suggestions or ideas. Write to us at:  info@tucsonmeetyourself.org

Previous issues of BorderLore Newsletter are archived  here and here.