UCA brings Navajo story teller to Conway

Sunny Dooley, a Navajo story teller, tomorrow will present “Stories from the Navajo Tradition” at the Faulkner County Library, 1900 Tyler Street, at 7 p.m. She will also appear at UCA on Friday at 10 a.m. in McAlister 302.

Dooley is a Native Dine’ (Navajo) storyteller, poet, playwright, lecturer, and folk singer who has traveled throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and West Africa, sharing her culture’s rich artistic heritage. She is from the Four Corners region of the southwest, from a community called Chi Chil’ Tah (Where the Oaks Grow). She has been telling the Origin and Creation Stories of the Dine’ people for the past nine years.

The traditional stories that Dooley recounts have been handed down from one generation to the next in her family. In Navajo tradition, the stories carry within their context an understanding of why people, places, and things are the way they are; they offer wisdom and an understanding of the past and present as well as a commentary on the future. They embody the world view of the people and their relationship to their surroundings. A native speaker of the Navajo language, Dooley is one of the few storytellers who can interpret in English her people’s stories with all of their rich cultural, traditional, and historical context.

Dooley’s visit is made possible by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council.