"Individual myths with a wealth of interpretation are presented in this invaluable contribution to Native American history and folklore."—Midwest Book Review
This is the first major book to explore uniquely Iroquois components in the Native American oral narrative as it existed around 1900. Drawn largely from early twentieth-century journals by non-Indian scholar Hope Emily Allen, much of it has never before been published.
Even as he studies time-honored themes and such stories as the Iroquois myth of the beginning, Anthony Wonderley breaks new ground examining links between legend, history, and everyday life. He pointedly questions how oral traditions are born and develop. Uncovering traditional tales told over the course of 400 years, Wonderley further definesand considersendurance and sequence in mythic content. Finally, possible links between Oneida folklore and material culture are explored in discussions of craftworks and archaeological artifacts of cultural and symbolic importance. Arguably the most complete study of its kind, the book will appeal to a wide range of professional disciplinesfrom anthropology, history, and folklore to religion and Native American studies.
Anthony Wonderley is curator of the Oneida Community Mansion House in Oneida, New York.