Stonework is published by Houghton College, a Christian liberal arts college located in New York’s rural Genesee Valley. Stonework seeks a diverse mix of mature and emerging voices in fellowship with the evangelical tradition. Published twice a year, the journal reflects the arts community at Houghton College where excellence in music, writing, and the visual arts has long been a distinctive.

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  • Issue 6
    Poetry by Paul Willis and Thom Satterlee. Fiction and interview with Lori Huth. Essay by James Wardwell, and student poets from Christian campuses.
  • Issue 5
    Poetry by Susanna Childress and Debra Rienstra. Fiction excerpt by Emilie Griffin. Art from Houghton's 2007 presidential inauguration and a forum on women writing.
  • Issue 4
    Matthew Roth--new poems. Diane Glancy--from One of Us and an interview. John Tatter-on gardens and poetry. The Landscapes of John Rhett. Stephen Woolsey--on the poetry of Jack Clemo. James Wardwell--on Herrick.
  • Issue 3
    Poetry by Julia Kasdorf, Robert Siegel and Sandra Duguid. Fiction by Tom Noyes. The portraits of Alieen Ortlip Shea. An anthology of Australian Poets
  • Issue 2
    Thom Satterlee - Poems from Burning Wycliff with an appreciation by David Perkins. Alison Gresik - new fiction and an interview. James Zoller - Poems from Living on the Floodplain.
  • Issue 1
    Luci Shaw — new poems with an appreciation by Eugene H. Peterson & Hugh Cook — new fiction and an interview

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Murle Folktales

Dr. Jon Arensen, professor of anthropology at Houghton College, is director of the Houghton in Tanzania program. He has spent many years with the Murle people, translating their language for Wycliffe Bible Translators. The folktales included are reprinted from his book Mice Are Men.
The Murle people enjoy telling and listening to stories. Stories can be told at any time of the day and by anybody. However, storytelling usually takes place in the evening after the day’s work is done and the people are relaxing. It is in this setting that older men and women, renowned for their ability, regale their audience with tales of many different types. Many of them are tales about people, animals, and birds which live in an earlier fantastic world where they are not limited by the present restrictions of life. In a sense, these tales are metaphorical in nature in that there are often underlying meanings which can only be understood in the context of Murle society and by having a good knowledge of the language. These types of tales are not told to report historical facts but primarily for entertainment. The Murle use the verb kamici for the telling of a tale. In other contexts this verb can mean ‘play’, ‘converse’, ‘flirt’, and ‘sexual intercourse’. Even though tales are seen by the Murle people to be primarily for entertainment, they do give some insights about the world, both physical and social, in which they live.