storyteller banner.jpeg

We are storytellers. In our cultura we have a long history of oral storytelling from indigenous traditions that predated the Spanish conquest to conversations at the dinner table today. This telling and retelling of stories takes many forms -explaining dichos we hear from abuela, reciting prayers that are felt deeply, singing songs and corridos that narrate historical events or recount heartbreak and love. Every story passes on traditions and values and provides a means for the survival of our day-to-day culture. When we retell our stories, we share family bonds and help construct our identity. The SOMOS Cultura Kits will give you history, ideas, and projects you can do with your family and friends. Everyone has a story. Let's explore the many ways we can tell our stories with our Cultura Kits. 

Here are some of the topics to be covered in the kit.

■    STORYBOOKING - Children will learn how to develop questions for interviewing family members, choose pictures to tell stories that recount family traditions or historical events and create a book using scrapbooking techniques to keep the stories alive.

■    DIGITAL STORYBOOKING Expand the previous Storybooking ideas by going digital with this kit for adults and young people by organizing the story on the computer or digital device using a variety of software programs.

■    CODEX - The Aztec codices recorded history with symbols that told the story of their origins and daily life. Children will learn about these symbols and how to tell their own stories with symbols.

■    CORRIDOS - The tradition of putting historical events into a song is known as a corrido or a ballad. Many daily news events are recounted in corridos and for many people it's a way to share history and current events. Use this kit to learn about famous corridos then write your own corrido about a story you want to share.

■    ARPILLERAS - From Chile to Peru to Mexico women have used their brightly colored threads to make pictures that tell stories about everything from revolutions to the community harvest and even holiday celebrations. This Cultura kit will show you some basic techniques for telling stories using applique and embroidery stitches.

■    ART QUILTS - Fabric scraps have been sewn together into images that tell stories and document history. This tradition continues today with story quilts that can use fabric scraps, computer images, printed t-shirts, and trims that convey messages or tell stories. Use this kit to make your story quilt.

■    GRAPHIC NOVELS COMIC BOOKS - Telling stories using illustrations in booklets were first used in countries with low literacy levels. You can find novelas, cook books, and humorous comic strips that tell stories. Today they have become popular book forms for superheroes that emerge from everyday situations to overcome challenges. Meet some authors of this storytelling traditions and create your own graphic story.

■    STORIES IN THEATER - Whether your first experience with theatre was a campesino performance, a puppet show in the park or a Broadway play, all three forms of theatre told you a story. We will explore three basic processes for theatre: develop, write, and perform a story. The theater is a rich art form that supports many different elements and will allow us to use music, art, design and so much more as we tell our stories on a stage.