The Journey Continues – Rob Aptaker

Rob Aptaker takes the stage at Godfrey Daniels for the Children’s Storytelling Series on April 8th at 2 pm. (See calendar for details.)

Aptaker tells stories from Eastern woodland tribal nations: Lenape, Cherokee, Abenaki, and Iroquois.  He provides background and historical information about each tribal group when introducing a tale.  Rob makes sure his audience understands that Native American Nations — like nations anywhere else — each have their own unique languages, cultures, and customs.

Traditional Native American stories are often brief.  Many concern animals who act remarkably like people. These stories may teach values in gentle ways: the characters in the stories get their just desserts or rewards.  Some stories have meanings that are strange to the modern audience.  “Oddly, I find that children often enjoy these kinds of tales the most.  It’s as though children don’t need tidy resolution.” Aptaker said, “The action of the story is enough.”

“Storytellers have to capture the imaginations of listeners of all ages.  The art is to find the shortest route to the truth of a story.” Aptaker added.   Native stories are often less complex than stories from other traditions.  Aptaker uses differing voices and gestures to illustrate the story.  This allows the listener’s imagination to draw indelible images that can last a lifetime.