Doug Elliott is a naturalist, herbalist, storyteller, basket maker, back-country guide, philosopher, and harmonica wizard. For many years he made his living as a traveling herbalist, gathering and selling herbs, teas, and remedies. He has spent a great deal of time with traditional country folk and indigenous people, learning their stories, folklore and traditional ways of relating to the natural world. In recent years he has performed and presented programs at festivals, museums, botanical gardens, nature centers and schools from Canada to the Caribbean. He has been a featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival. He has lectured and conducted workshops at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and the Smithsonian Institution. He has led ranger training sessions for the National Park Service and guided people on wilderness experiences from down-east Maine to the Florida Everglades. He was named harmonica champion at Fiddler’s Grove Festival in Union Grove, NC. He has made his home in the mountains of western North Carolina for the past 35 years. He has spent a great deal of time with traditional country folk and indigenous people, learning their stories, folklore and traditional ways of relating to the natural world. He is the author of five books, many articles in regional and national magazines, has recorded a number of award winning albums of stories and songs, and is occasionally seen on PBS-TV, and the History and National Geographic Channels.
James Bruchac is an award winning author, storyteller, tracking expert, wilderness instructor and guide. Raised in the Adirondack foothills town of Greenfield Center, New York Jim is the eldest son of World renowned Abenaki Indian storyteller and author Joseph Bruchac III. Of Abenaki and Slovak descent Jim grew up immersed in the outdoors and the art of storytelling. Due to their combined efforts to educate others about the natural world in March of 2005 Jim and his father were awarded a CONSERVATION ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FROM THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION.
Donald Davis was born in a Southern Appalachian mountain world rich in stories. “I didn’t learn stories, I just absorbed them ,” he says as he recounts tales and more tales learned from a family of traditional storytellers who have lived on the same Western North Carolina land since 1781. Davis grew up hearing gentle fairy tales, simple and silly Jack tales, scary mountain lore, ancient Welsh and Scottish folktales, and-most importantly-nourishing true-to-life stories of his own neighbors and kin.For Donald Davis, storytelling is a way of giving and living life. When Donald Davis tells a story, he invites each listener to come along, to pull deep inside for one’s own stories, to personally share and co-create the common experiences that celebrate the creative spirit. For Donald Davis storytelling “,…is not what I do for a living…it is how I do all that I do while I am living.”