Noted anthropologist James Mooney (1861-1921) spent much of his life studying American Indians. In North Carolina, he lived for several years with the Cherokee, studying their language, culture, and mythology. His research resulted in this comprehensive volume, comprising 126 Cherokee myths, including sacred stories, animal myths, local legends, wonder stories, historical traditions, and miscellaneous myths and legends.
Among the myths included are these:
How the World Was Made; Origin of Strawberries; Why the Deer's Teeth Are Blunt; How the Turkey Got His Beard; The Rattlesnake's Vengeance; The Ice Man; The First Fire; Why the Possum's Tail Is Bare; The Bride from the South; The Water Cannibals; The Haunted Whirlpool; The War Medicine, and many more.
In addition to his clear retelling of the myths themselves, the author provides extensive background information on Cherokee history, notes on the myths, parallels between Cherokee and other myths, and further important information. Anyone interested in mythology or Native American legend and lore will welcome this treasury of authentic tales presented in the context of Cherokee history, life, and culture.
Reprint of the Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1900.
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