Myths and Legends of California and the Old Southwest

Myths and Legends of California and the Old Southwest

Myths and Legends of California and the Old Southwest

Myths and Legends of California and the Old Southwest

Synopsis

First published in 1912, these collected myths tell of good and evil, the entrance of death into the world, great floods and fire, and the origins of names. Also included are fables, rain songs, the Paiute song of the Ghost Dance, and legends of Yosemite Valley. Illustrations.

Excerpt

For countless generations Native communities throughout North America have told stories about their worlds. in a time before written forms of communication, the storyteller used both collective memory and individual inspiration to fulfill one of several possible goals. Perhaps it might be to amuse or to instruct or to imagine. Some stories could only be told at certain times of the year. Others could not be told to all members of a village or encampment. But regardless of their purpose or their content, the stories mattered. They reflected values; they imparted lessons. They told how a place, an animal, a people came to be. As with the fables or songs or chants or ballads of different groups around the world, American Indian stories offered much in time to a wider audience curious to learn more about Native history and heritage. Nearly a century ago, Katharine Berry Judson came to understand their importance and sought to share them.

Katharine Berry Judson received a B.A. from Cornell University in 1904. Upon graduation she attended library school in the state of New York and then moved west. Judson served as a librarian in Kalispell, Montana, in 1905 and 1906 and then as chief of the periodical department for the Seattle public library from 1906 until and during the time she enrolled in a graduate program in history at the University of Washington. Awarded the Loretta Denny Fellowship, she completed her M.A. in one year. She then worked as a research assistant in the history department during the . . .

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