Journey Through Secwepemculew - Secwepemc Art and Expession

Story Telling


The ability to tell a good story is a talent held in high esteem in traditional Secwepemc culture. There are generally two types of story within Secwepemc culture: stseptekwle or legends, and slexeye or oral histories. Stseptekwle are legends featuring characters from the Secwepemc natural world. These "legends" tell stories of how the world was created. They are used as moral lessons from the elders to the young to transmit cultural teachings. The most prominent character in stseptekwle is the figure of Coyote. This oral tradition requires the artistic retelling of the stories by a gifted storyteller. The storyteller brings Coyote and the other animal characters to life. This ancient style of teaching includes teaching about the natural world and spiritual and cultural morals. Stseptekwle can be seen as having played a significant role in in the education of Secwepemc children.

The other form of storytelling is called slexeye. It can be loosely translated to mean, "to tell". These stories include personal narratives centring on events occuring during a persons life. Such stories may include stories surrounding genealogy, personal history, and recounting of everyday life. Even within the the telling of slexeye, the ability to tell an enjoyable story was prized by all.


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