Native American Oral Literature

Topics: CultureTradition

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Last updated: May 7, 2019

Native Americans north of what is now Mexico did not use a written alphabet.
True

Almost from the moment the Europeans arrived, the Native Americans began to die in huge numbers, if not from war, they died from
all of the answers are correct (despair, brutal mistreatment, enslavement, disease)

Native American texts NEVER include speeches and selected ritual songs.
False

Among some Native American groups, such as the Aztecs, written traditions existed, but in North America, such “records” included
all of the answers are correct (shields, tepees, painted hides, shellwork belts)

Native American stories are always serious, never comical.
False

Because the term oral literature seems contradictory to many people, some scholars have chosen to call the expressions of the oral tradition “orature”.
True

Sitting Bull was the first Native American to record on his own the founding myths of his people.
False

Early Native American Cultures were oral–they chanted, sang, or presented in long narratives their cultural information.
True

Pertaining to Native American oral stories, the term “performable text” was invented by Johannes Gutenberg.
False

In “The Iroquois Creation Story,” when the pregnant woman’s “travail drew near” and she was asleep on a mattress, she began to sink down to the dark world, but she was saved by
a turtle

From “The Iroquois Creation Story,” the “good mind” gained victory over his brother, the “bad mind,” by beating him to death with
deer antlers

“The Iroquois Creation Story” is the Iroquois’ way of explaining how pregnant women conceive and bear healthy children.
False

Most of what we know of native literature comes to us from the oral tradition.
True

Creation stories usually explain the origins of people, animals, and/or cultural practices.
True

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