Traditional Literatures of the American Indian
Texts and Interpretations (second edition)
Praise for the first edition:
"A highly valuable collection of interpretive essays . . . Traditional Literatures of the American Indian should be in the library of every serious student of Native American cultures. It is informative interesting, and valuable."—American Indian Quarterly.
"These well-documented essays are im-portant reading for students of Native American literature."—Choice.
In American Indian societies, storytelling and speech-making are invested with special significance, crafted to reveal central psychological and social values, tensions, and ambi-guities. As Karl Kroeber notes, "It is our scholarship, not Indian storytelling, that is primitive, undeveloped."
This book is an essential introduction to the study and appreciation of American Indian oral literatures. The essays, by leading scholars, illuminate the subtle artistry of form and content that gives spoken stories and myths an enduring vitality in native communities yet often makes them perplexing to outsiders. The presentation and analysis of complete oral texts, often without translations, enable the reader to grasp the meaning, purpose, and structure of the tales and to become familiar with the techniques scholars use to translate and interpret them.
This expanded edition of the widely praised collection contains a recent analysis of the Wintu myth of female sexuality, a revised introduction by Karl Kroeber, a contribution by Dell Hymes, a new translation by Dennis Tedlock, and a new, annotated bibliography.
Karl Kroeber is a professor of English at Columbia University and the author of Retelling-Rereading: The Fate of Storytelling in Modern Times.