The Jack tales came to us from the British Isles where they have been told as far back as the 13th century. They are about a character named Jack who has fantastic adventures. The tales were brought to the Appalachian Mountains by the Europeans. The stories changed over time reflecting the environment and cultural traditions that began to emerge among the mountain people. Today we have a unique collection of stories known as the Appalachian Jack tales. They reflect European, African and Native American voices that have merged together to form these entertaining and enlightening stories about that ageless trickster, Jack. Appropriate for any age, these stories take the listener into Jack's world of fantastic adventures where the impossible is possible and Jack always prevails. Octavia Sexton, is an experienced educator as well as a professional storyteller and literary artist. A native of eastern Kentucky, Octavia grew up in a rich tradition of storytelling. Her English/Irish ancestors migrated to Kentucky via North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia from Europe - bringing their stories with them. Her paternal and maternal great grandmothers were Cherokee women from North Carolina. Octavia has been privileged to grow up hearing folk tales, "Haint" tales, Jack tales and Cherokee legends, which her family has told and retold for many lifetimes. The core of Octavia's stories is rooted in the traditions and lifestyles of her family and her past. Her genuine Appalachian dialect and love for her beloved Kentucky mountains are the magic that brings her stories to life. She is one of our few, true folk artists of the spoken word and her performances are authentic representations of the tradition from which she comes.
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