"Due to Anthony Wonderley’s efforts, we may now glimpse a rich world of thought that had been lost. At the Font of the Marvelous is a masterpiece."—William Engelbrecht, author of Iroquoia: The Development of a Native World
The folktales and myths of the Iroquois and their Algonquian neighbors rank among the most imaginatively rich and narratively co-herent traditions in North America. Inspired by these wondrous tales, Anthony Wonderley explores their significance to Iroquois and Algonquian religions and worldviews. Mostly recorded around 1900, these oral narratives preserve the voice and something of the outlook of autochthonous Americans from a bygone age, when storytelling was an important facet of daily life.
Grouping the stories around shared themes and motifs, Wonderley analyzes topics ranging from cannibal giants to cultural heroes, and from legends of local places to myths of human origin. Approached comparatively and historically, these stories can enrich our understanding of archaeological remains, ethnic boundaries, and past
cultural interchanges among Iroquois and Algonquian peoples.
Anthony Wonderley is curator of the Oneida Community Mansion House in Oneida, New York. His articles on Iroquois archaeology, folklore, and history have appeared in American Antiquity, Bulletin of the New York Archaeological Association, Mohawk Valley History, New York History, Northeastern Anthropology, and Ontario Archaeology. He is the author of Oneida Iroquois Folklore, Myth, and History: New York Oral Narrative from the Notes of H. E. Allen and Others, also published by Syracuse University Press.
6 x 9, 224 pages, 7 black and white illustrations, 4 maps