Collected here are the timeless Native American fables and legends handed down by noted Seneca anthropologist Arthur C. Parker. Growing up on the Cattaraugus Indian reservation in western New York, Parker knew the importance of the storyteller in Iroquois lives. The Seneca stories of animals, whose weaknesses and strengths are suspiciously like those of human beings, held a special place for Parker, who is considered by many as one of the greatest orators in any language. Oral traditions – whether myths, legends, or folktales – are more than just “stories.” They are the way by which a society communicates to its members the order and meaning to be found in the world around them. Young adults and children, especially, will be captivated by these Seneca tales.
Arthur C. Parker, a renowned anthropologist, was born on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in western New York State. Throughout a prestigious career, he was affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History, the Peabody Museum at Harvard, the New York State Museum at Albany, and the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences. He died in 1955.