8th Annual Hastings Shade Memorial Storytelling at Har-Ber Village Museum

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A group of Cherokee storytellers will gather for the 8th Annual Hastings Shade Memorial Storytelling on Saturday, June 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Event Tent at Har-Ber Village Museum in Grove, Okla. Featured storytellers will include the Turtle Island Liars Club (Sammy Still, Woody Hansen, Sequoyah Guess), Janelle Adair, Robert Lewis, Ryan Macky, Choogie Kingfisher, Herschell Thompson and Kim Wenzel of Grand Lake Tellers—but all storytellers are welcome to come and share! The event is free of charge.

The storytelling event is in honor and in remembrance of the late Cherokee elder Hastings Shade. Shade was former Deputy Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. A story teller by nature, Shade was a charter member of the Cherokee storytelling group, “The Turtle Island Liars Club.” Some of their stories, along with stories by Shade, are the subject of a recently published book, Cherokee Stories of the Turtle Island Liar’s Club, written by Christopher Teuton, and published by the University of North Carolina Press.

Mr. Shade was involved with the Keetoowah Cherokees on many different levels. First and foremost, he was a Keetoowah Cherokee Language Instructor whose classes in Basic and Intermediate Keetoowah Cherokee were well attended and very popular. Additionally, Shade contributed numerous cultural presentations during youth culture camps sponsored by the Keetoowah Cherokee.

Storytelling predates writing. The earliest forms of storytelling were primarily oral combined with hand gestures and facial expressions. In addition to being part of religious ritual, for many ancient cultures, rock art may have served as a form of storytelling. The Australian Aboriginal people painted symbols from stories on cave walls as a means of helping the storyteller remember the story.

This year’s free storytelling event is hosted by Har-Ber Village Museum. The Event Tent is located behind the Har-Ber Village Café. The Café will be serving dinner that evening until 8pm—so you’ll be able to enjoy one of their delicious prime rib or chicken fried steak dinners and then attend the storytelling! Parking is available next to the Café. For more information, call 918-786-6446 or visit har-bervillage.com.

Har-Ber Village Museum’s regular hours are 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission is $10 for adults; $7.50 for seniors 62+; $5 for children 6-13; under 6 and members free. Discounts on many programs and free admission is available to those who become Har-Ber Village members.

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