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From Traditional Stories to Comic Books
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Art, Students, Utah, Sioux, Comic, UEN, CDEA, Multicultural, Heritage, Tradition
Art, Students, Utah, Sioux, Comic, UEN, CDEA, Multicultural, Heritage, Tradition

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Collaborative Artwork:
Mittie Decoy Jones and Katelyn Folsom, Brighton High School, 2013-14
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2014-05-23
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Eryon Dempsey, Alta High School, 2013-14
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Hey guys!  This is Dimi.

Please bear with me while I get used to this program. I've never used google+ before. I am excited to see everyone's work, and also answer any questions you may have, so please feel free to ask! Remember, there is no one right way to make comics. Every person's comic will look different and that's what's so cool! But there are tricks and methods we can use to better tell a story through pictures. Much like Iktomi spins his web of schemes, we can also spin a bit of magic into our pictures and pages that will help guide the reader along our stories.

Remember, comics is all about telling stories with pictures! It's always helpful to take a step back from whatever picture or panel you are drawing and look at it in relation to the rest of the whole page. Are you able to make sense of what's happening without word balloons? Do the panels guide your eye along the page from left to right, top to bottom? Is there more emphasis placed on the important moments of the story?

These are all questions you should ask yourself or even a friend while you are crafting your comic stories. And with that, I will open the floor to your questions, so let's make some art and have fun!'
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some more pictures from Nebo
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2014-05-05
16 Photos - View album
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Nebo Title VII
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2014-05-05
12 Photos - View album
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This is a test...

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth
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Aldean Ketchum told stories and played his flute at the first Utah Native American Storytelling Festival November 25 2013.
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Iktomi & Buzzard

Iktomi, he was alone one day, sitting on a hill, smoking his pipe and watching Buzzard as he flew around in great circles in the sky.  “How wonderful it must be to fly,” Iktomi thought.  “I could do that,” he boasted to himself, “but I bet I would get sweaty, because it must be like work.  I don’t want to be sweaty, because I want to look good.  It’s hard to be good-looking when you are working.  I think I will call Buzzard here and get him to take me for a ride.”  So Iktomi began to think really hard.  Now, that is hard for Iktomi, for long ago he traded his good mind for a good-looking face.  Still he gave his thoughts wings.  “Buzzard, come here; take me for a ride.  Buzzard, come here; take me for a ride.” As soon as he thought the thought, Buzzard began to drop down from the sky lower and lower, nearer and nearer until he landed on the earth beside Iktomi. 
“Get on my back, Iktomi, let me take you for a ride.”  Smiling to himself, Iktomi climbed onto Buzzard’s back and with a beat of his great wings, Buzzard lifted off the earth.  Soon they were circling high in the sky.  From where he sat on Buzzard’s back, Iktomi looked out and in all directions, saw the great hoop of the earth.  It was a beautiful view.  “It is good that the earth is so beautiful,” Iktomi thought.  “Like I am beautiful.  Iktomi only likes to look at good-looking things.”  Just at that moment, Iktomi looked down right in front of him.  Ah, there was something that wasn’t good-looking.  It was Buzzard’s head!  “EEEHH,” thought Iktomi, “it is UGLY!!”  Where there should be feathers there were just a few coarse hairs.  It was red as though it had been burned by the sun, lumpy and bumpy and wrinkled.  “Eeehh!” thought Iktomi,  “Buzzard is not good-looking like Iktomi.” 
Now, there are no words in the Lakota language to curse or swear. There are words to insult somebody, but they are serious and can cause much trouble between people, so I will not say those words to be heard and maybe, foolishly, to be repeated.  But, like all people, there are rude gestures.  And, right then, Iktomi was thinking of those words and that gesture.  He clenched his fist and quickly flicked it open behind Buzzard’s head.  This is a gesture that, if it is seen, is so disrespectful that it will cause hard feelings or even a fight.  “But Buzzard can’t see me,” thought Iktomi, “and he probably can’t hear me either.”  So, he made that gesture again and again, and as he said the words, the wind tore them out of his mouth and threw them over his shoulder, away from Buzzard’s ears.  Iktomi laughed and laughed at how clever he thought he was and how stupid he thought Buzzard was, not to know what he was doing.  
He was so amused with himself at what he was getting away with that he forgot that all peoples were given gifts and Buzzard’s gift was strong vision that allowed him to see from high in the sky down to the earth so he could find foods to eat.  Right then, he was using his vision to look far below where he saw the shadow of Iktomi’s hand behind his head.  “Iktomi mocks me.  I give him the gift of flight and he disrespects me! I will have to find a special gift for my foolish friend.”  
And so Buzzard circled around looking for just the right gift for Iktomi.  At last, he saw it It was a sheared-off tree stump that had been struck by lightning and left in the open plains.  Buzzard circled nearer and nearer until he was just above it and then he flew upside down and dumped Iktomi headfirst into that stump. 
Iktomi was stuck.  He struggled, he screamed, he raved, he kicked and the more he struggled and screamed, the more he became stuck.  “Poor Iktomi is stuck,” he cried.  “Why would Buzzard do such a cruel thing to his friend Iktomi?  Iktomi will die upside down if no one hears him—and he won’t be good-looking!” He was there for a long while when suddenly he heard a noise of thunder.  Suddenly, his problems grew worse as he felt raindrops falling on the bottoms of his feet as he hung there upside down.  The water began to pool around Iktomi’s head. “Oh no!” thought Iktomi.  “Iktomi is going to drown!  I am going to die for sure and it is all because of Buzzard.  And Iktomi won’t be good-looking when they find him drowned, upside-down in this tree stump.” 
Just then, the rain that had begun to gather in that old stump began to be soaked up by the dry wood.  But as that old, rotten wood soaked up the rain, it began to swell and squeeze Iktomi.   “Poor Iktomi,” he cried.  Now he knew he was going to die.  “Iktomi will not be good-looking when he is dead and crushed in this tree stump.  Why would someone be so unkind to a friend?” and he began to cry and pray.  
Iktomi usually only prays for himself—when he is in trouble or wants something.   But, suddenly, Iktomi realized it was HE, not Buzzard, who had gotten him into such a bad place.  As he cried and prayed, he began to truly feel sorry for what he had done—sorry for how disrespectfully he had treated Buzzard. He became truly pitiful in his heart that he made such foolish mistakes.  As he became pitiful, he began to shrink.  He got smaller and smaller until at last, like a worm, he was able to craw out of that tight spot his choices had put him in.  And, for the rest of that day, he was respectful to all he met, for he had learned his lesson.
But, remember, (because he will not) Iktomi traded his good mind for a good-looking face, so he never remembers the lessons he learns.  That is why we have so many stories of Iktomi; but that is where this one ends.
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Dovie Thomason, Bio 

Dovie Thomason is one of the most respected and admired storytellers of her generation. Her journey as a storyteller began with the childhood influence of her Kiowa-Apache grandmother and father, who taught her traditional stories and ‘pan-Indian’ stories they learned from other children during their boarding school experiences

Thomason received her B.A. degree in Native Studies and Theatre in 1970 and for a short time taught creative writing and American literature in high schools in Ohio and Connecticut.  As a teacher, Thomason wove traditional Plains Indian stories into normative literature and writing curricula and realized the continuing significance of cultural education, the spoken word, and oral literacy.

In the early 1980s, she left the classroom to reach a wider audience through the telling of indigenous stories.  In the three decades that followed, Thomason’s dedication to share indigenous voices has taken her down many roads.  She has worked as a guest presenter and artist-in-residence with schools and universities from British Columbia to Northern Ireland.  She has performed keynotes, workshops, and consulted for noted educational organizations, including the National Indian Education Association, National Headstart Conference, TED Leadership Conference, and NASA. 

Thomason’s storytelling also has been featured on countless artistic stages, including the National Museum of the American Indian, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Museum, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.  She also has found time to work on a variety of special projects, lending her voice to narrations for the BBC, NPR, PBS, and the National Parks Service; and she has been featured in documentaries about the Native people of Southern New England in Honor the Earth; As We Tell Our Stories; and in the Emmy award-winning Mystic Voices about the Pequot War. 

Today, Thomason continues her work as a storyteller, teacher, and tradition bearer.  In recent years, she’s explored blending traditional stories and young-adult fantasy and graphic novels.  She enjoys every aspect of her work, but her favorite activity is connecting people with indigenous values through stories of tricksters and heroes.
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