The Mythology of the Wichita
First published in 1904, George A. Dorsey's Mythology of the Wichita is a rich collection of American Indian folklore. With the help of a Wichita interpreter, Dorsey gathered sixty tales from the Wichitas living in Oklahoma and arranged them according to the first period, the creation; the second period, transformation; and the third period, the present. Included are tales of the First Creation, the Great-South-Star (Protector of Warriors), the Turtle's War Party, the Deluge and the Repeopling of the Earth, and numerous Coyote-trickster stories. For the Wichitas, tale-telling was of great instructional value for the young. The tales taught that bravery and greatness depended upon individual effort, no matter how low or mean might have been the individual's origin, and at the same time, that there might descend upon the child the same longevity and good fortune possessed by the hero of the tale. Supplementing Dorsey's introduction on Wichita history and culture is a new foreword by Elizabeth A. H. John, who discusses Wichita history, the setting in which Dorsey gathered the tales, and subsequent scholarship on the Wichitas. This edition also translates into English the passages from several tales originally considered too risque and therefore published in Latin. This inexpensive edition will prove indispensable to scholars and tribal members studying and retrieving elements of Wichita culture.
353 pp — ©1995