NSU presents storytelling and Turtle Island Liars Club book signing
TNE Editor
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NSU presents storytelling and Turtle Island Liars Club book signing

Published 11/14/17

Valeriia Efimenko

TNE Writer

The NSU Native American Support Center is presenting a Turtle Island Liars Club storytelling event. Turtle Island Liars Club is a book titled after the group. The club of the title refers to Cherokee storytellers who gets together to exchange stories with each other. The authors of the book are Hastings Shade, Sammy Still, Sequoyah Guess and Woody Hansen. These four storytellers have traveled all over the 14 county area of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma.

“The group of authors is local,” said Jane Hansen, Native American Support Center specialist. “They know a lot of history, and they combined all the stories and put them in the book. The main author, Christopher B. Teuton, is from North Carolina, so he won’t be here for the event. However, other contributors live here in Tahlequah. They volunteer their time to come over and tell stories from the book, or maybe any kind of stories.”

The book contains 40 stories, conversations and teachings about Western Cherokee life, beliefs and the art of storytelling.  The book explains how the members of the Liars Club understand the power and purposes of traditional stories. Four of the stories are presented in both English and Cherokee.

“The stories range from scary to funny,” said Hansen. “Also, people who have the book can bring them and get them signed, ask any questions and meet the people who were a part of the book. Also, the books are available for selling at the NSU bookstore.”

Cherokee Stories of the Turtle Island Liars Club shows the art of Cherokee storytelling. It is known in the Cherokee language as “gagoga,” literally translated as "he or she is lying."

“There is so much knowledge in this book,” said Lauren Latta, Stillwell senior. “No matter how small or big the stories are, there are valuable parts of Cherokee knowledge that teach the readers. This book is a must read, especially for Cherokee people. I like that the authors shared the knowledge that was passed down to them through the book.”

Some American Indian Studies courses at NSU require the book as part of the class.

“There are some core classes that are actually including the book in their curriculum,” Shelly Dreadfulwater, Native American Support Center coordinator. “All the authors have different styles of stories, and I think this is going to be very interesting. They are pretty well-known around here. The community of Tahlequah can come join the event and show interest. I hope we will have a good turnout.”

Some stories in the book tell when all creatures on Earth spoke Cherokee, how the turtle lost its whistle to the quail or and how one storyteller was hit by a car while trying to rescue a snake.

The event is open to the public. Snacks, coffee and hot chocolate are offered for free to the guests. The event takes place at 5 p.m. on Wednesday Nov.15 on the second floor of John Vaughan Library at the Native American Support Center.

For more information, email Hansen at hansenj@nsuok.edu.


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