In Barefoot Heart, Elva Treviño Hart uses the storytelling tradition of her family and culture to recount her migrant childhood.Each chapter begins with a Mexican dicho (proverb) that sets the stage for the vignette from her life which follows.
Literature Assignment • Ten questions, each student must answer five • http://www.usu.edu/connections/literatureexperience/barefootHeart/ReadingAssignment2009.pdf • Students appearing without assignment • Late registrants • Breakfast with the speaker essay contest • http://www.usu.edu/connections/literatureexperience/lunch.cfm
Diane Sidener Standards for Folklife Education, Pennsylvania Alliance for Arts Education, 1997, p. 2 • We become who we are in large part by our participation in groups in which we share [family], ethnicity, occupation, age, gender, religion, or other cultural factors. • Folklife traditions are an important basis upon which cultural groups establish and pass on shared values and specialized knowledge. • By focusing study on such traditions, we may gain a better understanding of how a particular group of people communicate with each other, what they value, and how they perceive the world and their role in it. • Folk groups, the groups in which humans spend most of their time, provide access to commonalities as well as differences, and by studying the folklife of folk groups students can develop conceptual frameworks within which to examine and reflect on both differences and commonalities. • USU has a renown folklore program and folklore archives (that includes the Latino/a Voices Project) that can help with this academic reflection.
Dichos (proverbs) • A compact, traditional statement passed along in oral tradition in a fixed form that expresses ethical or philosophical truths; wise observation about life, the world, or human nature. • A juventud ociosa, vejez trabajosa. (To leisurely youth, laborious old age.) • Arriba ya del caballo, hay que aguantar los respingos. (Once mounted on a horse, one must hang on when he bucks.) • El mal escribano le echa la culpa a la pluma. (The poor writer places the blame on the pen.) • Si quieres el perro, acepta las pulgas. (If you want the dog, accept the fleas.)
Use & Meaning of Proverbs • Value laden • Morals • Values • Taboos • Context important - meaning changes depending on context: • A rolling stone gathers no moss • Pedagogical • Occupational: Silence is golden, shut up and get rich. • Weather Red sky at night, sailor's delight;Red sky in morning, sailor take warning. • Family: A stitch in time saves nine. • Health: An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Activity Askstudents why they think Elva Treviño Hart used dichos to begin each chapter of Barefoot Heart? Have students to choose a dicho (proverb) from Barefoot Heart that they relate to. • ask: • Who might use the proverb—someone in an occupation, parent? • When might it be used? • Why might it be used? • What is taught? • How might proverbial phrases and sayings (or jokes, gestures, body language) used by people be useful to note and interpret? • How can paying attention to the folk traditions of others help us?
Storytelling • Oral tradition of passing on culture, history, beliefs of a group from one generation to the next as a means of explaining the world around them. • Story of the day you were born • Odyssey • Los Melones
Use & Meaning of Storytelling • Has a performance / entertainment aspect • Engages: • Emotionally • Mentally • Is a medium for communicating experience • Represents spectrum of human condition: good, bad, and in between • Pedagogical • Teaches place in community (connections & roles) • Shows right and wrong way to do things (gambling) • Fairness (or lack thereof) • Belief system outlined (curandero/as) • Other?
Activity Discuss with students the Treviño families’ use of storytelling—“remembering.” Divide students into groups of five. • Askstudents to draw a story from the book that they remember most (this is a suggestion from Elva) • In groups, have student share the story they chose and why this story/episode resonates with them • As a group, discuss how storytelling is manifested in their lives. • To define the group (story of when you were born or when parents met) • Define roles in the group (think of roles of daughters & sons in the Treviño family) • What is appropriate or inappropriate behavior (story of great grandfather’s gambling that cost the family fortune) • Who has power; how power is given/taken (story of Kit and horses) • Other • Discuss how storytelling might/does manifest itself in college life—how to interpret and use.
Foodways • “Foodways refers to the whole interrelated system of food conceptualization and evaluation, procurement, distribution, preservation, preparation, consumption, and nutrition shared by all the members of a particular society.” • ~ Jay Anderson • Comfort foods (warm tortillas) • Holiday foods • Food customs:protocol, responsibility & aesthetics • Food taboos: prohibitions against certain foods or combinations of foods
Use & Meaning of Foodways • Procurement (how we get food) • self production (gardening) • hunting • foraging • grocery shopping • Preservation • home canning • drying • freezing • butchering • salting • smoking • pickling • storing store bought foods • Pedagogical • Food preparation • traditional recipes • preparation techniques/tricks of trade • who does the cooking & where • artistic element • cleanliness / ritual behaviors • Food presentation • dishes—special, everyday • table setting • inside/outside • prayers, toasts, “words” • food handling • Eating style: family, formal, with hands, etc.
Activity Give every student a warm tortilla, have butter, salt, sugar, cinnamon available for their use. • Ask students to recall the Treviño families’ use of tortillas.” • As a group, discuss how foodways are manifested in our lives. • comfort foods • celebration days/holy days • taboo foods or foodways • good (familiar) smells vs. bad (unfamiliar) smells • Discuss how foodways might/does manifest itself in college life—and how being aware of the similarities or differences of our foodways from others foodways might impact us/them.
Who touched your fruit? How has this year’s literature experience touched you?