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Urban Appalachian professional storytellers' narratives [electronic resource] : an analysis of their life experiences and their performance content /

by Walton, Christina D.; Theses and, OhioLINK Electronic

Abstract (Summary)
This dynamic ethnographic study uses a mixed method investigation of 22 urban Appalachian professional storytellers from Greater Cincinnati (Ohio and Kentucky) who, when encountered, are interviewed in-depth, observed and photographed in 50 performances at 18 events, and surveyed to discover: How do professional storytellers' life experiences influence their professional storytelling performance content? The professional storyteller's story carries the celebration of the performance topic, whether it is family, mountain life, identity, folklore, sacred beliefs, community practices, or health. When the topic is spoken to the audience in a festival atmosphere, it becomes a celebratory moment of that cultural experience. Celebration revolved around family, friends, neighbors, and community. Storytellers celebrated their sense of identity and the sense of belonging to a people. Storytellers move everyday kind of life experiences to a level of celebration just by its inclusion in a story during a performance at a festive event. Findings reveal that storytellers interpret the stories they tell and construct their own realities because a vantage point of a life story provides a platform with which to reflect on personal experiences through the lens of the story and to situate family histories for the audience through the performance. Storytellers perform their stories throughout their communities at various events, at festivals, in educational settings and libraries to raise awareness and to entertain. Their narratives serve as cultural tools for representing their past and sharing stories with future generations. Based on these storytellers' perspectives, stories accomplish more than preservation of cultural values. Stories are dynamic and ever-changing with each telling. Through the lens of the story, storytellers' personal interpretations are transmitted to audiences.
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Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:university of cincinnati

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