Northern Illinois University Press


Native American Legends of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley

Selected and Edited by Katharine B. Judson

Introduced by Peter Iverson

"A welcome addition to the collection of American Indian myths and tales."—A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff, author of Literatures of the American Indian

"Not simply 'tales,' these stories form an Indian literature that was important on its own terms as well as in relation to American literature."—Peter Iverson, Arizona State University

Collected almost 100 years ago, these timeless tales represent the diversity and richness of American Indian cultures from around the Great Lakes, the Midwest, and the Mississippi River valley. They reveal much about the central beliefs and guiding principles of Winnebago, Ojibwa, Menominee, and other peoples and provide a window into their outlook and aspirations. As Katharine Judson wrote in her original preface, they express the longing to understand the why and how of life.

Many of these tales concern Manabush, a culture hero for several peoples and later the inspiration for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Hiawatha. Readers also encounter the elemental forces of Thunder, Rain, and Wind; the wise and foolish actions of Fox, Eagle, and Hare; and legends describing the creation of Earth, Sky, and Mountain.

Told in a simple, unencumbered style, these stories and myths grow in depth and complexity upon each reading and provide rich material for understanding the peoples of a region whose cultures have received relatively little attention. An introduction by Peter Iverson highlights the divergent ways American Indian identity has been constructed through such legends. All ages can appreciate the strength, power, and beauty of these timeless legends and tales.

(2000) 204 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-581-8
$20.00 Paper

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction by Peter Iverson
PART I: EARTH, FLOOD, FIRE
PART II: CORN, WIND, THUNDER
PART III: RABBIT, LYNX, OWL
PART IV: EAGLE, PANTHER, OPOSSUM
PART V: SUN, MOON, STARS
Index

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-581-8
paper $20.00