In a past life, when I was a Primary School Teacher, a colleague and I embarked upon a storytelling project with the children. The result was a school hall transformed into a bedouin village with market stalls, bazaar and tents and pretend camp fires. We had different activities going on around the hall and different groups of children visited throughout the day. The project was based around a book called Tales Told in Tents by Storyteller, Sally Pomme Clayton.
This is a beautiful book which contains retellings of exotic stories she experienced during her travels in Central Asia. They are interwoven with riddles, songs, poems, sayings, notes and snippets of information.There is also a colourful map which shows where the stories originate and a glossary explaining some of the unusual vocabulary. The first story (Sally's introduction to the collection of stories) is called, 'The Storyteller's Tale' and begins:
"When I was little, my sister and I used to throw a blanket over the washing line to make a tent. In the warm half-light we would set up camp, arranging beds and making a pretend fire."
It continues with:
"Stories are light. You can carry them anywhere, pick more up along the way, and your load never gets heavier. So stories were a way of carrying the threads of our lives from place to place... In nomadic societies the storyteller is very important and stories are treasured. They are the gold you pass on to your children."
'A Whole Brain' (from Kazakhstan) which tells what happened on the seventh day when God finished making the world and realized he had forgotten to give human beings brains. 'The Carpet of Dreams' (from Afghanistan) is the story of Arif, who dreams of traveling the silk road and explains the tradition of always weaving a mistake into a carpet on purpose, to show that only God can make something that is truly perfect.
As part of our school storytelling project, we worked with a drama specialist who shared with us her wonderful Story Beads. My colleague and I were so inspired that we collected our own beads to make a story string.
|This one is from the magical coat of a Chinese Emperor!|
|This is a moon stone from the bottom of the deepest ocean!|
|A haunted stone!|
|You get the idea!|
|Build yourself a story tent, grab your story beads and start telling stories!|