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Native American Oral Traditions in Film

This thesis addresses the question of whether film is an appropriate medium for demonstrating Native American oral traditions. In addition to this the thesis discusses what film format is the most appropriate if film is ging to be used for this purpose. In order to answer these questions a number of films depicting these traditions are analyzed. The films are divided into three formats; animation, actors and storytellers.

It is found that the filming of Native American oral traditions is acceptable as long as the films meet certain requirements. The films must be respectful to the culture from whence they came, it is necessary for them to be set in the correct cultural context and to be of value to the people to whom the stories belong. There are problems with some of the films in each of the formats but good films can be produced by utilizing all three.


Vivienne Ibbett


Tom Holm





Arizona State Museum: 

M9791 I23n
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences