Thomas Doty – Storyteller
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When I was a beginning storyteller I was blessed by friendships with elders. They not only shared with me their wonderful stories, but gently nudged me toward accurate source materials. Now I pass them on to anyone interested in understanding our native world.
Storytelling has been kind to me for nearly four decades. By providing these resources I hope that the newest generation of tellers find them useful as they carry our ancient art of storytelling into the future with vibrancy and integrity.
Since 1997, my website has been a labor of love, and I gift its treasures to anyone with an interest in our native world. It is through the sharing of stories that we begin to understand all of the people on our planet -- Animal People, Human People, Rock People, and so many others. We are all related! As we become lovers of stories, we become caretakers of cultural wisdom, experiencing people and landscapes that nourish and sustain us. We learn to give back. As an elder once told me, "This is a good journey."
In the Spirit of Sharing Stories,
Library – Stories & Sources
My Library is the home of my writing. This includes traditional and original native stories, poems and prose poems, my journal, essays, and a play. Library visitors can also listen to stories or read native stories in Spanish. In addition, there are excerpts from my notebooks, a literary magazine called Coyote & Friends, and a Native Archives page with links to the complete texts of accurate sources on native cultures, including the works of Edward Sapir, John Peabody Harrington, and many others. Enjoy the journey!
Culture – Salmon, Bear, Villages
Want to learn about the Sacred Salmon Ceremony at Ti'lomikh? Take digital tours of Old Time native villages? Explore the seasons through moon names and the mythology of Great Bear in the Sky? This is the place! Here you can also find info on the Sacred Salmon Ceremony, and Eme'tek!iyikíkh (We Are Here), a native sculpture in Ashland, Oregon.
- Seasons & Moons – Traditional cultural activities through the year. Includes native moon names.
- Mythology of Bear – Great Bear in the Sky -- the Big Dipper -- circles the seasons with his dance. Includes drawings as well as photos of the Bear Rock on Lower Table Rock.
- A Native View – One-paragraph essays on topics of native culture.
- Klamath River Fish Dams – Native people make an Old Time deal with the Salmon People to perpetuate their species. Includes related stories and historic photos of the Klamath River.
- Coyote's Paw - Native Village – Thomas Doty's ancestral village along the Klamath River. Includes a description of the village, photos, a native map, and more.
- Ti'lomikh - Native Village – Lore and history of an ancient Takelma village on the Rogue River, home of the Sacred Salmon Ceremony.
- Salmon Nation Radio – Alex Chadwick interviews Agnes Baker-Pilgrim, Stephen Kiesling and Thomas Doty about the Sacred Salmon Ceremony at Ti'lomikh. Public radio series produced by Katie Davis.
- 1933 Story Chair – Photos of Grandma Aggie's father and her family at Ti'lomikh in 1933.
- 2007 Story Chair – Stephen Kiesling and Kim Marie Murphy and Thomas Doty wade the Rogue River to locate the ceremonial stone chair.
- 2008 Ceremony – Photo gallery of the Sacred Salmon Ceremony at Ti'lomikh.
- Eme'tek!iyikíkh – A native sculpture by woodcarver Russell Beebe in downtown Ashland, Oregon.
- Installation – Photo gallery of the installation of Eme'tek!iyikíkh on September 19, 2006.
- Dedication – Photo gallery of the dedication of Eme'tek!iyikíkh on September 30, 2006.
- Feather Ceremony – Photo gallery of a ceremony at Eme'tek!iyikíkh on September 21, 2008.
Rocks – Paintings & Carvings
In 1986, I co-founded Reading the Rocks, which I still co-direct. These pages describe our work to protect and interpret ancient rock paintings and carvings (pictographs and petroglyphs). Here are descriptions of sites with photos and drawings, and a print-friendly index of symbols. There is also a description with photos of the Medicine Rock Project, the stories behind my logo and the Native Peace Tile, rock writing maps, and news articles.
- Rock Writing Video – A rare video of rock writing master LaVan Martineau interpreting a site in Utah.
- Sites – Rock writing sites in the West, with photos, drawings and descriptions.
- Symbols – Drawings and translations of traditional symbols. Includes a print-friendly PDF.
- Native Peace Tile – Thomas Doty designed this tile for the Peace Wall in Ashland, Oregon.
- Story of My Logo – Here's the story behind Doty's logo. Includes a photo of the original rock carving.
- Native Maps – Using traditional symbols, story character Mapmaker creates maps of native stories and places.
- Medicine Rock Project – In 2008, Thomas Doty, Roy Phillips, the Talent Historical Society and Desiesque Designs collaborated to create an exhibit and replica of a Takelma vision quest site. Includes photos of the project and PDFs of the exhibit panels.
- Medicine Rock Exhibit – Photo gallery of creating and installing the exhibit at the entrance to the Talent Museum in Talent, Oregon.
- News: Petroglyphs Stolen – 2012 L.A. Times news story of rock writing panels stolen from a site near Bishop, California.
Photos – Family & Sacred Landscapes
Learn about my family through historic photos from our Doty Family Archives, or visually explore the sacred landscapes where many native stories take place. Here are galleries with hundreds of photos!
- Family – Images, photos and stories from the Doty Family Archives, 1578 to the present.
- Critters – Photos of a few of Doty's favorite beings.
- Landscapes – Photo galleries of landscapes, rock writing sites and sacred places that have inspired many of Thomas Doty's stories.
Common Core State Standards
My stories align with educational standards, and are relevant across content areas. Here is an outline of CCSS in "teacher speak," with links to specific passages in writing that support key concepts.
Flier to Share
Here is a print-friendly PDF flier you can share with friends and colleagues. It contains web addresses for accurate cultural resources available for free on this website. It is formatted 8½" x 11". File size is 2 MB.
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