Dictionary of Native American Mythology

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Publisher: Oxford 

Released Date: 1994

ISBN: 0195086023

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Many people see an image of a coyote, a sand painting, or a sweat lodge and vaguely associate it with Native Americans from the southwestern United States. Schoolchildren make crude replicas of totem poles when they study northwestern tribal peoples. But in Dictionary of Native American Mythology we learn that Coyote is a cultural hero and trickster figure with vast numbers of stories from many tribes. Totem poles, while artistically beautiful, represent the animal lineage from which a human family has descended. And sand paintings are created as a part of an eight-day Navajo healing ceremony. These are just some of the more familiar of the more than 1,300 richly worded and illustrated entries. The importance of ritual and myth in creating meaning is nowhere more evident than in Native American traditions. Dictionary of Native American Mythology is a careful selection of the distinctive stories, characters, themes, symbols, and motifs that interweave the traditions of over 100 different Native American cultures. The alphabetically arranged entries are rigorously cross-referenced, allowing the reader to pursue in depth a particular path of inquiry. Each entry cites tribal origin and the corresponding geographic region. These regions in turn are keyed to ten tribal territory maps that pinpoint exact tribe locations. The massive bibliography and tribal index complete this work so that it is not only an indispensable resource for students and scholars, but also a delight to the casual browser. Dictionary of Native American Mythology is a monumental contribution to the study of Native American myth and ritual, both past and present. 

Author: Sam D Gill & Irene F Sullivan

Publisher: Oxford 

Released Date: 1994

ISBN: 0195086023

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