The Mythology of North America

The Mythology of North America

by John Bierhorst
     
 

The growing economic and political influence of Native American tribes has brought religious issues, once little noted, increasingly to the fore. Timeless in their basic structures, the continent's principal myths are now emerging as sacred histories that have contemporary significance.
In this wide-ranging volume, John Bierhorst carefully delineates eleven

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Overview

The growing economic and political influence of Native American tribes has brought religious issues, once little noted, increasingly to the fore. Timeless in their basic structures, the continent's principal myths are now emerging as sacred histories that have contemporary significance.
In this wide-ranging volume, John Bierhorst carefully delineates eleven mythological regions—from the Arctic to the Southwest and from California to the East Coast—presenting the gods, heroes, and primary myths of each area. First published in 1985, this indispensable guide has been updated to reflect the latest scholarship in Native studies. In a new Afterword, Bierhorst describes the recent impact of ancient myths in the arena of American Indian affairs and shows how Native Americans have successfully used mythology as oral evidence to reclaim land rights and to repatriate grave goods. Citing specific cases, he shows how new legislation and changing attitudes "have provided a basis for bringing myth to the negotiating table and into the courtroom."
Detailed maps show tribal locations and the distribution of key stories. Indian artworks illustrate the texts and samples of differing narrative styles add enrichment, as some of the world's purest and most powerful myths are made more accessible—and more meaningful—than ever before.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195146233
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/01/1902
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.13(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

A Note on Pronunciation
Introduction1
Pt. 1Northwest Coast
1The Hungry Heroes25
2Clans, Crests, and Ceremonies38
3Family Ties47
Pt. 2Far North
4Storytelling in the Arctic57
5Athapascan Variations65
Pt. 3Southwest
6The Emergence77
7Heroes and Their Grandmothers93
8The Dying God100
Pt. 4West Central
9Creators of California113
10Great Basin Heroes and Heroines122
Pt. 5Coast-Plateau
11Remaking the World133
12Making the World As It Is141
Pt. 6Plains
13Father Creators and Boy Heroes153
14Earth and Sky165
15Myths for the Future172
Pt. 7East
16Lost Worlds of the Southeast185
17The Northeast: Turtle Island194
18The Northeast: Gluskap's Country205
Pt. 8Midwest
19The Hare Cycle213
20Lore of the Kin225
Afterword234
Notes on Sources241
Index263

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