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By Teresa Saundersfreelance writer and education journalist

Storytelling has always been an important part of West Indian culture and heritage. Help to keep the tradition alive in class with these storytelling ideas

From the beginning of time, storytelling has been a fascinating and integral aspect of traditional cultures; a way of expressing and sharing hopes, fears and dreams and of laying claim to an identity and a history. The tales that are passed on from generation to generation are permanent and living testimonies to people’s lives, thoughts and experiences and play a vital and exciting part in our literary development. When people from Africa’s west coast were shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to work as slaves in the New World plantations, they took with them the strong storytelling traditions of their homelands. Through the years, and across the islands, the well-remembered stories were told and retold, echoing distant African memories and slowly absorbing the distinctive rhythms, landscape, characters and dialect of the Caribbean.

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