This MA thesis research focuses on Gwich’in stories. It seeks to better understand how similar the versions of two stories are when each is parsed into units representing themes within the stories. Drawing in part on Lévi-Strauss’s structural study of myth and applying aspects of it to the Gwich’in stories discussed in this research, I will demonstrate that several versions of a story contain identical themes, though levels of detail vary. This occurs when (1) a story is told by the same storyteller at different times, and (2) when a story is told by two or more storytellers. While each version of a particular story may differ in the amount of detail, resulting in shorter and longer versions, my research shows that the main themes of a story are identical even when several storytellers narrate the same story or when the same storyteller tells a story more than once, but several years apart. There is a gap in the academic literature pertaining to Gwich’in stories. Recent projects have been conducted including Gwich’in stories focused on documenting narratives, but no one has investigated whether the content of those tales is actually identical. My research complements these projects by shedding light on a less studied aspect of Gwich’in storytelling.
|Advisor:||Plattet, Patrick, Tuttle, Siri|
|School:||University of Alaska Fairbanks|
|School Location:||United States -- Alaska|
|Source:||MAI 55/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Cultural anthropology, Canadian literature, Folklore, American literature|
|Keywords:||Gwich'in, Man in the moon, Storytelling, The old woman and the brushman|
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