Thomas Doty – Storyteller

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Making a Mythology

I have spent my entire life sauntering through the countryside of my homeland, straining to hear the language of the landscape and listening to stories from people I have met along the path. I scribbled in notebooks. I composed poems. I started including what I heard and saw in my storytelling. My world started making sense. And in 1996, I started writing my Doty & Coyote stories.

These stories comprise a mythology with characters and settings drawn from ancient native myths that owe their existence to the oral tradition. Many of the myths were passed along through my family. Others I learned from native elders. I also make use of both published and unpublished sources. In addition, I have mixed in new tales. Put together, my Doty & Coyote stories create one large story, a mythology that becomes more complete with each new bit of writing, with each new telling.

With the arrival of Europeans, much of our native mythology was fractured, some parts even smashed to bits. It has been my passion and my art to find as many of the pieces as I can and try to put our native stories back together. This is my life's work. My daily journeys take me deep into obscure reams of linguistic and ethnographic studies as well as along forest paths, up and down rivers, across the high desert to places of intense beauty and magic.... And all along the way I meet amazing folks with wonderful tales.