Thejournal entry discusses two topics from the readings. These topicsare Koasati narratives and African American narratives. The twofolktales are similar because they have trickster stories (Lewis,2014)
Koasatiis found in the Muskogean language category. The language iscurrently spoken by approximately one thousand individuals. Thenative speakers reside in the eastern part of Texas, and also thesouthwestern area of Louisiana. In the Koasati narratives, there is atrickster that is known as Rabbit or Cokfi.Anthropologists explain that trickster narratives were used todiscuss events that occur in the society. The reading is importantfor class discussions because it combines the concepts of literature,linguistics, and anthropology. Literature illustrates how peopleshare ideas and concepts in the society. The Native Americans forexample, the Koasati speakers shared information through oraltrickster tales. Older members of the society explained to thechildren the benefits of ethical, moral, and acceptable behaviorthrough oral tales. Children and youths were discouraged fromengaging in the activities of the trickster because they were mostlycunning, mischievous, and self-centered (Lewis, 2014)
Thefolktales from the African American community were not collecteduntil the last decades of the nineteenth century. The origins of theAfrican American tales, just like the work songs, were hence unclear.Comparative literary studies of the White American, African, andEuropean folktales, however, indicate that the American slave oralnarratives closely resemble the African folktales. Famous AfricanAmerican folklorists like Joseph LeConte and Alcee Fortier tracedsome of their oral narratives to the West African countries of Ghanaand Nigeria. Most African American narratives explain animal tales.The trickster is usually a small animal for example, the rabbit orthe tortoise. The small trickster uses wit and intelligence tosurvive (Lewis, 2014). The reading is helpful for class discussionsbecause it shows the connection between the African folktales and theAfrican American oral narratives. I am interested in learning moreabout the African-American culture. Information from the readingreveals that most slaves originated from the western part of Africa.
TheAfrican tales that are communicated to the rest of the world withminimal alterations are the trickster narratives that have thetortoise and the hare. In the slavery environment, the cunning hearwas referred to as the Bre’r Rabbit. The slow but mischievoustortoise was known as the American turtle or T’appin (Lewis, 2014).The trickster cunningly manipulates other animals to get favors,food, mating partner, and respect. Folktales are important in classdiscussions because they explain the human society. Slaves sometimesmanipulated their masters to get descent meals, raise a family, earnrespect, and even escape.
Hyde,Lewis. (2014). TricksterMakes This World: Mischief, Myth, and Art.New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.