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University of Creation Spirituality
Doctor of Ministry Degree/Certificate Program

August, 2003 Intensive
Week 2: August 11-15

Art-as-Meditation: Spirituality, Folklore and Theater - #61011B

Instructor: Luisah Teish

Luisah Teish Ph.D., Open International University Institute of Human Sciences. Teish is a writer, performer and ritual consultant. She is the author of Jambalaya, Carnival of the Spirit and Jump Up. A professor at New College, Naropa, Oakland and John F. Kennedy University in Arts, Consciousness and Holistic Studies. Teish is the director of the School of Ancient Mysteries Sacred Arts Center in Oakland, Vice President of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology and the Chair of the Committee on Womens Issues for the World Congress of Orisha Tradition and Culture. She is an initiated elder, Iyanifa in the Ifa/Orisha tradition of West Africa and holds the chieftancy title of Yeyeworo from the Fatunmise compound in Ile Ife, Nigeria.

Course Description: In the folklore tradition of every culture there are mythological characters representing the Forces of Nature and Human Consciousness. They are also believed to be the Messengers of the Sacred. Students will be introduced to folklore characters from several cultures such as Elegba of West Africa, Elusu, the mermaid of Brazil, and a host of others drawn from cultures of the African Diaspora. We will examine their role in the tales followed by a discussion of how these forces have shaped the lives of individuals and communities. Students are encouraged to render their understanding and experiences into original creative works, which can then be performed in village theater style.

Students will acquire skills in cultural literacy and village theater performing arts. Theater performance arts include adornment, voice training and music appreciation. Class culminates in a performance.

Materials Needed:
A Cast of Cowries by Luisah Teish. Available for purchase from Instructor.

Calendar of Daily Class Activities:

April 7:
April 7:
April 8:
April 9:
April 10:
April 11:

Introduction. Survey of African Diaspora Folklore
Techniques of Village Theater Style
Creating Original Works
Critique of Performance and Closing Ritual

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