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Native American Smudging

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  1. Hi Hunter!

    Your introduction was awesome! I really enjoyed the authenticity. Maintaining the native language and cultural aspects of the tribe gave me a strong connection to the story. As you mentioned in your authors notes, the traditional storytelling style was orally. The authentic cultural elements mentioned before strengthen that oral feeling. Including translations at the bottom of the page was a nice touch as well. It is helpful for readers who are unfamiliar with the terminology and they are more likely to scroll to the bottom of the page for a translation than having to look it up elsewhere.

    Your introduction sets the stage nicely. You introduce important features of the culture while also establishing the plot and setting. There is a nice element of suspense as well as most readers will be unaware of the stories about these evil spirits. The emotional sense is something I thoroughly enjoyed as well. I could feel the emotions of the members and created a deeper sense of attachment to the story.

    I can't think of anything that I would improve. Your website design is great and easy to navigate. The story titles are intriguing. Your writing is very well done. I'm looking forward to reading more. Keep up the great work!

  2. Hey Hunter,

    It's nice to see someone else doing a storybook about dark stories normally told around a campfire! I think that the cultural elements that you've added really help to anchor your stories in a sense of realism despite the dark, outlandish creatures that the reader encounters. I really like the usage of the native languages while telling the story as well, as it makes the stories feel more authentic.

    The writing in the stories is great, the only thing that I would encourage adding is more sensory imagery. Implementing things like different smells and sounds really help to immerse readers even more, which is especially necessary for a genre like horror. The pictures that you've included definitely help readers with the visual aspect of imagining your monsters, but calling on their other senses can add that extra "oomph."

    Also, I think your website design is very clean and easy to navigate, but have you considered trying a dark theme (such as a black background with white text)? While there's definitely nothing wrong with your layout right now, I think using something darker would really play up the aesthetic that you're creating with these stories and help the reader feel like they're truly sitting by a nighttime campfire.

    That's really the only feedback I can give. I really enjoyed these stories and I think you did an awesome job with them! I'm looking forward to reading more!

  3. Hey Hunter!

    I really appreciate that you're taking the time to write down these stories from your culture! I think that it is one of the worst tragedies when unique cultures and traditions die out and I'm glad there are people like you working to preserve what they know. That being said, I did enjoy the stories themselves as well! I like the kinds of stories told by elders (my storybook does much the same) and the advice and wisdom that are communicated through them. I look forward to reading the last story and how it all comes back together. With that, there were a couple of minor mistakes that I would point out. The first is simple the matter of a few small grammar errors. They're pretty minor and I think you would easily catch them with a quick proofread or maybe by reading the stories aloud. The only tiny issue that I had with the stories had to do with the translations. I really appreciate that you used the traditional language for some of the words and that you provided the translations for us, but I will say that the translations bit is, in my opinion, a little on the small side. I almost missed seeing it entirely! Maybe it would help to make that little translation guide a bit bigger? Just a suggestion. In any case, great work!

  4. Hi Hunter,

    I read your stories in the Dark Legends section of your portfolio, and I am very impressed with how you have set your story page up. The details and the connections between the images you have chosen, and the theme of Native American folk is something that I find very intriguing, and your set up makes it very fun to follow along. After reading the first story in the Dark Legends chapter, I knew that I wanted to read the rest. I liked how you used the form of a legend that was taught to children to convey the message of respecting authority and listening to directions. The second story called the Shampe, was very disturbing, but also very interesting. I like your use of vulgar and gruesome imagery throughout the story to bring feelings of fear and excitement to the readers mind. I definitely chose to read this at the wrong time, because it was right before I went to sleep, but that’s on me… The third story about the Sint Holo was also very interesting. I like how in all of these stories you used a concept that took a fear inducing creature of some kind and used it to bring evil or horror into people’s lives who were not ready for it or who had made a mistake, all to prove a point. Very interesting reads, and I look forward to reading more throughout this second half of the semester.

  5. Hey Hunter!

    I came back to see the progress you had made and read more about this culture. I still really enjoy the authenticity of these stories. The native language really helps the stories feel real, as if I am sitting with the tribe. These stories are quite scary! It is interesting that we use monsters and things that evoke fear to teach people what not to do or what to avoid. I guess fear is the best way to get people to understand their potential wrong doings. These creatures are things out of nightmares. You do a really great job at not only describing the creatures but the feelings they create in people. Sometimes, I did find it a little hard to follow as you use "boy" or "brother" to refer to characters, but there are two. Maybe having a boy and girl, or giving the characters names can make the action points of the reading smoother. I would also do a quick proof read of the stories and you'll catch a few small errors that I noticed. Other than that, I think this is a really awesome project. It fully encompasses what this class is about; telling stories about a culture not only so they survive, but so others can develop more understanding about different cultures and perspectives while seeing the similarities to their own as well. Great work!

  6. Hey Hunter!

    I have to say, my favorite part of your introduction is the fact that you stayed true to the original language. Often times words get lost in translation, and I loved how you didn't shy away from the original word and incorporated into the story as a world building element. It was really well done. I think you should increase the font a little on translation section though. It's difficult for people like me with bad eyesight to sometimes read the tiny font.

    Have you considered doing something with your front page? I love the banner image, but the strip of white at the bottom with a little text detracts from it. I suggest you enlarge the banner so it takes up the whole page, and we can scroll down and see that white space. I think it would make your already cool website even more enrapturing. Good job on your work!

  7. Hey Hunter!

    To start off, great introduction! On this post I am mostly going to focus on images used in your storybook. I love how as soon as you open the link to your storybook, you banner image takes up the whole screen. I did some research on your image and it is a picture of a smudge ritual which I read is a Native American tradition. The image on your introduction page is also very fitting as your introduction focuses mainly on what the elders are saying around a camp fire that they prepared. i looked at the links for all your images and they are all very fitting to the story They are also very unique and help draw the reader in. The only suggestion that I would make about your images would be that you could have a different banner image pertaining to each story on the different pages. This way not all of your banner images are the same. I did a portfolio for my project and I also had it set up the same way so that my banner image was the same for all of my pictures and someone suggested that I make them all different and I actually liked it better that way. Overall you did a great job!

  8. Hey Hunter,

    In "The Elder Speaks", I noticed just a few grammatical things. "Our parents chanted a tribal songs" should remove the 's' from songs or 'a'. You also capitalize Chiki at first but not throughout the story so, not knowing what Chiki was, I was very confused whether it was a thing or a person until I got to the end of the story. Overall though, I thought, you did a great job introducing the theme of the storybook and making your writing engaging.
    In "The Nalusa Falaya", you say "all of the sudden the forest was quite." (change to 'quiet'). You honestly did a fantastic job of keeping suspense here! I was on the edge of my seat and was getting so invested in the story! Huge props to have that kind of powerful, suspenseful writing!
    In "The Shampe," you say "“We must start off tonight stories" (change to 'tonight's stories'). Overall, this is a great story, and it was interesting to learn about myths and folklore that I have never heard of before! Good luck with the rest of the class and good job!

  9. Hey Hunter,
    You had a great start. You had a great look in your portfolio. I like how you kept the stories original and stayed true to what they are. I like how you stayed true to the culture in almost all aspects of it. The images are what drew me into the stories. They add to the stories and give me an idea as to what it will be about. You chose them very well. I am really glad I stumbled upon your stories. I think you do a great job overall and think you should keep doing these stories too, you have a great interpretation. Great job and I hope you had a great semester. Good luck on your endeavors in the future.


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