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Storytelling Workshops: Word and Music

Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and Peralta Hacienda Historical Park partner to present storytelling workshops, led by master storyteller Susan Strauss and teacher/speaker of Paiute & Ichiskin Native languages, Jefferson Greene, assisted by Left Coast Chamber Ensemble flutist, Stacey Pelinka.



Saturday, September 30 &

Sunday, October 1

Storytelling Workshop in the Pavilion

11:00 am–2:00 pm

(Register for Saturday or Sunday,

or both!)

Storytelling Performance

with Susan Strauss

2:30–3:15 pm (Saturday and Sunday)


Peralta Hacienda Historical Park

2465 34th Ave, Oakland, CA 94601

Revitalizing Native American culture through practice of storytelling skills is both health giving to the teller and the community. In traditional Native culture, storytelling is one of the essential skills for passing on culture and traditional ecological knowledge. Storytelling was badly damaged through historic genocide and ongoing acculturation. This workshop is presented by a storyteller and humanities expert in collaboration with a speaker of Native languages assisted by a professional musician. Participants will be introduced to the practice of telling traditional Paiute and Yokuts stories derived from ethnographic texts, with an introductory experience to Native languages. This is an introductory experience to help participants find a way to work with traditional stories, value working with tribal elders, and how to bring life out of texts to create imaginative retellings using repetition, rhythm and vocal intonation.

Following the workshop, Susan will tell a sampling of Native California stories including her versions of stories from the workshop. This performance is open to the general public as well as workshop attendees. These stories share traditional ecological knowledge of wildlife and the precious value of water. The performance will be followed by a Q&A discussion with Susan and Jefferson Greene.

The Musical Language of Storytelling:

Tales from Paiute Country

Storytelling Workshop

September 30 & October 1 (Register here)

11:00 am–2:00 pm

Participants will learn to tell a traditional Paiute story, with an introductory experience to Paiute and other regional Native languages. Susan will teach the art of storytelling through imaginative retellings of ethnographic texts, finding character voice, and use of musical language patterns. Stacey Pelinka will assist in participant retellings with flute accompaniment.

Tales from Native Country

Storytelling Performance

September 30 & October 1


Susan will tell regional stories that reveal traditional ecological knowledge of wildlife and the precious value of water. The performance will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with the audience.

Susan Strauss

Jefferson Greene

Stacey Pelinka