Author & Choctaw Storyteller
Author & Choctaw Storyteller
An avid collector of tribal stories, Tingle has guest-lectured on numerous college campuses on Native American folklore, and in 2003 earned his Master of Arts degree in the English Department at the University of Oklahoma, focusing on contemporary American Indian narratives.
His recent performance highlights include a full-length theater piece, “Rolling Way the Rock,” based on the story of Choctaw Clarence Carnes, who at age nineteen became the youngest inmate ever sentenced to Alcatraz Federal Prison. Tingle premiered the piece at the 2006 International Symposium of Artists of Conscience in Victoria, British Columbia, and most recently performed the piece at Jim May’s monthly theater gathering in Woodstock, Illinois.
In May of 2004, Tingle founded the Choctaw Storytelling Festival, a three-day celebration of the Choctaw narrative: traditional, historical, and personal. Joining tribal elders with youthful attendees, the festival promotes the ongoing transmission of foundation stories so critical to the Choctaw community. Stories are told in the Choctaw language as well as English.
The following are selected from over 400 of Tim’s performance-ready stories:
Adult, young adult, and college audiences:
Trail Of Tears: This epic journey of the Choctaw people is told through the eyes of a ten-year old boy.
The Choctaw Way: A tribal elder spends his final days teaching a young boy the way of honor.
Saltypie: This story of redemption tells of Tingle's grandmother and her struggles after leaving the Choctaw Nation.
Tony Byars: Based on an interview with a respected tribal military hero, this narrative recounts the hardships of Indian Boarding school in the 1930's.
Archie's War: Tingle's coming-of-age story depicts a father and son torn by the issues surrounding the Viet Nam War.
For elementary-age audiences: Tingle performs a series of traditional and historical Choctaw tales, plus American Indian trickster tales. Also, selected students join in an impromptu band using authentic Native American instruments.
Crossing Bok Chitto- A young Choctaw girl helps an enslaved family escape in this pre-Civil War story.
No Name- A traditional Choctaw story of a boy and his demanding father.
Grandma Spider Brings the Fire- A hilarious tale of possum and buzzard misunderstanding fire, with a lesson from elderly Spider.
First Robin- A Lakota girl faces her troubles and gains self-assurance.
White Wolf- Two Sioux children find a mysterious protector.
Coyote and the Rock- A humorous Salish tale of respect for the little ones, with much audience participation.
The Bowl- A Navajo tale of an elder who knows better, but takes a bowl from a long-ago cave, and the children she teaches. Scary, fun, and very popular.
A lively and crowd-pleasing storyteller, Tim often accompanies himself on the Native American flute and sings Choctaw songs to the rhythms of his whaleskin drum. From 2002 to the present, Tingle has performed a traditional Choctaw story before Chief Gregory Pyle's Annual State of the Nation Address at the tribal gathering in Tushkahoma, Oklahoma, a Choctaw reunion that attracts over ninety thousand people.
Tingle has completed eleven performance tours for the United States Department of Defense, sharing tales and humor with children of military personnel stationed in southern Germany. He has performed five times at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, and been a featured storyteller in forty-two states, Canada, Mexico, and Ireland.