Tim Tingle, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is a popular presenter at storytelling and folklore festivals across America. He was featured at the 2002 National Storytelling Festival. In 2004, he was a Teller-In-Residence at The International Storytelling Center, Jonesborough, Tennessee. Choctaw Chief Gregory Pyle has requested a story by Tingle previous to his Annual State of the Nation Address at the Choctaw Labor Day Gathering–a celebration that attracts over thirty thousand people– from 2002 to the present.
House of Purple Cedar is Tim’s most recent book with Cinco Puntos and his first work of adult fiction. Based on real events, the story follows young Choctaw Rose Goode as she and her family encounter racism and unspeakable violence in late 19th century Oklahoma.Yet, instead of seeking vengeance, they follow the path of forgiveness. And so unwinds this tale of mystery, Choctaw mysticism, and deep wisdom.
Walking the Choctaw Road, Tingle’s first book, is a collection of fictional stories based on interviews with Choctaw elders. Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma selected Walking the Choctaw Road as Book of the Year for 2005, as did Alaska Reads!, marking the first time in the history of the one-book-one-state movement that a single book has been selected by two states in the same year. Tingle completed a tour of eighty Oklahoma libraries in 2005, presenting stories from Walking the Choctaw Road and promoting literacy throughout the state.
In a Governor’s Commendation read before the Senate in May of 2005, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry praised Tingle for his “devotion to preserving the Choctaw heritage,” and declared May through November as Walking the Choctaw Road months in Oklahoma.
Crossing Bok Chitto is Tim’s second children’s book. The story is a beautifully illustrated version of a story found in his previous work, Walking the Choctaw Road. This book won the Oklahoma Book Award for best illustrations as well as best children’s book for 2007. Other awards for the book include American Library Association Notable Children’s Book 2007 and the Teddy Award, Texas Writers League, 2005.
Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey From Darkness into Light, is the story of his growing up and his family’s migration from Oklahoma Choctaw country to Pasadena, Texas. In this powerful family saga spanning fifty years, Saltypie describes the problems encountered by his Choctaw grandmother—from her orphan days at an Indian boarding school to hardships encountered in her new home on the Texas Gulf Coast. The book was recently deemed a Notable Children’s Book by the ALA.
A powerful conference speaker and festival performer, Tingle was featured at the 2002 National Storytelling Festival. He delivered the keynote address at the 2006 Johnson O’Malley Conference of Oklahoma and in October will perform in Victoria, British Columbia, at The International Artists of Conscience Symposium. In March of 2003, he completed his tenth tour of Germany for the U.S Department of Defense, performing at schools for children of military personnel. He has performed as a featured storyteller in festivals covering a thirty-state area, and in 2004 was a Teller-In-Residence at the International Storytelling Center.
As a storyteller, Tingle brings the lore of the Choctaw Nation to life in lively historical, personal, and traditional stories. He plays the Native American flute and often accompanies himself with an assortment of gourd rattles and drums, adding a haunting dimension to a concert. Vocable chants and hymns sung in the Choctaw language compliment his stories. When not performing, Tingle divides his time between collecting Choctaw lore in Oklahoma and relaxing and writing on the shores of Canyon Lake, Texas, with his pet Canadian goose, Bobbie Jean.
Check out Tim’s website www.timtingle.com for more information!
Tim even visits schools! Read an interview with Tim complete with photos of him telling stories to children.
Watch a performance by Tim Tingle at the Many Voices, Many Nations program from the American Library Association (ALA). The video has many performers but you can find Tim Tingle’s performance at 3 minutes and 23 seconds into the video.
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