In retelling Native American creation myths, Harvard-educated linguist and ethnographer Jeremiah Curtin (1835–1906) provides readers with compelling narratives of the origin of the earth and its creatures. Accounts of conflicts, happenings, and methods by which an earlier world of man changed into the now-existing one, these tribal tales largely describe the struggles between hostile parties. Metamorphoses between combatants produce entirely different characters — sometimes a bird, a plant, or an insect — but always a creature corresponding in power to some leading quality of the character it has replaced. As a collector of myths and tales, few excelled Curtin and his remarkable linguistic abilities.
Reprint of Creation Myths of Primitive America, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston, 1898.
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