Onawuni Jean Moss, storyteller and educator, is Associate Dean of Students at Amherst College in Massachusetts. When Onawumi tells a story, warm tones, gentle humor and soulful rhythms draw you in, and then the meaning dawns. Her dramatic voice, expressive face and grateful movements transport you into the worlds of adventurous girls and women, charming creatures, scheming tricksters and wicked demons.
Onawumi Jean Moss is a talking book and rhythm master whose performances encourage pride of heritage, appreciation of cultural differences and recognition of kinship. Her timeless stories and acappella songs of Africa and African descendants throughout the Diaspora include tales of wonder, liberation, praise, trickery, and spirituality. Moreover, her growing collection of folklore from around the world makes it possible for her to pay tribune to many others cultures. Her work has won the admiration and following of listeners from a wide range of cultural backgrounds.
Drawing inspiration from hearing, reading and observing the works of some of this nationâ€™s most compelling tellers, Onawumi recently traded in her visitor's pass to become a permanent resident of the House of Story. Onawumi has told wondrous tales at the National Storytelling Festival stage (2001), Exchange Place (1995) and National Storytelling Association™'s Swappin ™ Ground (1992). She has also swapped stories and been a featured teller at the National Association of Black Storytellers Conference (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1997, 2001 and 2002.
Over the years her own interests expanded, providing her with wider perspectives on the importance and use of story. As she became deeply involved in learning about her cultural heritage, she realized that use of story, as a means of imparting valued knowledge and traditions was accessible to her.
She holds memberships in the National Storytelling Network (NSN), the National Association of Black Storytellers (NABS), and the League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling (LANES). Onawumi is also founder and producer of the dynamic Keepers of the Word Storytelling Festival at Amherst College, host to the country's best yarn-spinners since 1993.
Onawumi Jean Moss has performed at public and private schools (K-12), colleges, universities, conventions, conferences, festivals, churches, libraries, and on television.
For more information contact:
Onawumi Jean Moss
P.O. Box 2606
Amherst, MA 01002
Office (413) 542-2529
Fax (413) 542-8488