American Indian Myths and Legends (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)
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American Indian Myths and Legends (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)

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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  2,766 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Gathering 160 tales from 80 tribal groups to offer a rich and lively panarama of the Native American mythic heritage. 100 drawings.
Paperback, 527 pages
Published August 12th 1985 by Pantheon (first published August 1st 1984)
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Melissa Conner
Stories and legends often represent the heart and soul of a culture. They tell tale of creation of life, the supernatural, higher beings, and even explain such miniscule things as why the crow is black and why a beaver’s tale is flat.

Perhaps the greatest storytelling culture is that of the American Indian…a culture so committed and dedicated to oral history, myths, and legends. In Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz’s colorful collection, American Indian Myths and Legends, nearly 200 stories help g...more
David Rainey
This is an excellant collection of the oral myths and legends of the Native American people. It is well organized with the various legends having common elements. The only way I found to truly enjoy the book was to get out of the Western Thinking mode as it applies to myths and legends. These stories do not necessarily have a moral behind it, and quite often no real begining or end. They often are just a partial episode that could centuries into a tribes traditions.

It is interesting to note the...more
Julia
I read this book years ago for a Native American literature course. Being part Native American I have always been interested in stories from the indigenous people that were here first, and I think this is a good introductory volume for most North American to read, to realize we were not here first. There were others here first, and they had a diverse and rich cultures that we can learn more about. This is by no means a scholarly or anthropological volume, but I think most American and Canadian h...more
Amberle Husbands
Got this book second-hand at the flea market. I love the scope of stories they've collected, as well as the broad range of cultures they've managed to represent. There were a few majorly confusing typos -- like places where the narrative suddenly skipped over four paragraphs, concluded itself, then lumped all the skipped-content together at the end. But, aside from some editing issues, the collection struck me as very complete and we'll worth reading.
Stefani
I'm on a serious Native American kick and this book was the fix I needed. The book is nicely organized into sections by major theme—life, death, birth, love, etc..., with a variety of myths from different tribes, giving a novice reader a good overview of Indian belief systems. Not sure if all the myths are intended for children though. Case in point; a censor might be in order for some of the surprisingly graphic ball-grabbing, frog vulva myths (Coyote and the two Frog Women), however, I have to...more
Robin
I hope this is really the book I read. Hmm...

This was an interesting book to read especially of all the different legends and to see how they came up with them. A lot really didn't make any kind of sense to me or I felt were just too silly and I hate to say it but stupid (or maybe that's just me), also a lot just left me hanging or in ended in a rather weird spot. So I was kind of glad to be finished with this one.
Margaret
I thought this a great collection of Native American folklore. Rather than dividing the tales by tribe, which most collections do, the editors divided the chapters by tale types instead. This makes the collection a wonderful general overview of Native American folklore, particularly if you are more interested in tale types rather than the tales of specific tribes, though tribe names are still listed for each tale.
Quinn Sharkey
This book was very interesting with all of the stories from different tribes. It has a lot of different stories, some are even stories that they used to explain things. There are number of tribes who's stories are told in this book. There are serious stories and there are humorous stories. I would recommend it to anybody that likes Native American stuff or anybody that likes short stories.
Sy
I just started this book and the myths and legends in this book are pretty cool some are "How the sun was made" and "How the crow got its color" it show you what indian tribe this story is from. I would recomend these storys for anyone who likes myths and legends about animals and how plants and animals were made or got it color. Im only on page 12 but I have already read 5 storys
Sheri Fresonke Harper
American Indian Myths and Legends tells stories in ten different categories: human creation, world creation, universe creation, monsters and heroes, war, love, the trickster, animals, ghosts and the end of the world. The book is excellent in identifying the tribes where the story originated and for providing a background for the many Native American tribes. I keep it for a reference.
caracal-eyes
I'll have to check this out of the library again. I got maybe 1/5 through this thing, but then had to return it to the library, seeing as I have a bunch of other books that need finishing. This book is valuable in light of the cultures it helps bring to life, and the stories themselves are good, but they aren't always shining examples of narrative.
Sheri
Oct 15, 2008 Sheri rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Older children, adults, creators of worlds
We have really enjoyed this book! It made great bedtime reading (for a pre-teen) because the stories were just the right length. It was very well-written compared to other anthologies of "folk" stories that I have read. All of the stories were engaging and many taught valuable lessons. It's a great pick-it-up-and-put-it-down book!
Lindsay Wuchner
This book was fabulous. It was the best compilation of Native American myths and legends that I have found. These stories should always be treasured and retold to upcoming generations. They reveal a rich past as well as present, and bring forth a somewhat "lost" culture in terms of what one usually associates with the United States.
Sarah
These stories were well-written and really interesting. It's always nice to have a book of bits and pieces that you can jump into when you're in the mood. Too often I get stuck in novels and can't do anything in the real world until I'm done with them.

I may actually buy this one, even though I'm through the library copy.
Jake Berlin
a large and most engaging collection. at times i think it was too geared towards certain tribes (e.g., the sioux), but i guess the editors took what they had and could get. i generally liked how the stories were organized, although occasionally i thought some were misplaced and the intros to the sections were wanting.
Nathan Burgoine
This was a wonderful collection of short myths and legends, retold from oral tradition, and entirely enjoyable to read. I must admit, I kept this for far too long - enjoying a tale or two before bedtime each night, or while in the bath, or on the bus. I'm extremely grateful to have had the chance to read it
angrykitty
i found this to be a pretty nice collection....even though it didn't contain the one myth i was looking for....it was one where it detailed where the different races came from, and it had a boy and herds of horses, and i just can't find it....
Sydne
Dec 01, 2008 Sydne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People with a love for Mythology and an open mind
Recommended to Sydne by: Mama
My mom read this to me when I was little.
I loved the elaborate stories.
Like many books, this one opened my imagination to more.
The Coyote, The Spider, and The Man eating stomach.
And others.

Scared me half to death, but I still love it.
Jaime
We read these tales intermittently with the kids--some of it's pretty twisted! Definately censored for those kinky frog sex scenes; I appreciate the different perspective on the world and relationships that these stories reflect.
Joe
I did not read this book cover to cover but skipped through reading stories of from different tribes and subjects. It is interesting how similar they can be between tribes as well as to Hebrew, Greek and Roman myths.
Heather
I really liked this book. I thought it was extremely interesting to learn about another culture's beliefs. Some of the explanations don't quite make sense, but I enjoyed them none the less.
Blueberry
I love it all, but especially the bisexual creation stories. probably the creation myths in general are always inspiring. and the animal characters are awesome, spider and coyote and rabbit. . .
Rebecca
Oh Gee!! There are some naughty stories in this anthology. Make sure you know where they are before you bring the book into your 7th grade classroom. (see Coyotes and Strawberries.)
Chelsea Lewis
I doubt the complete accuracy of some of the myths inside, it was written in the 1960's when Native American's where pop culture glory, but none the less they were enjoyable stories.
Charlotte
Very interesting. A collection of myths from different American Indian tribes, organized by the category they fell under (ie. Creation; Death & the Afterlife; Ghosts; etc.)
Scott Block
I love all things Native American and this book hits the spot. It's a great way to learn about the Indian Way while being entertained at the same time.
Steveg
Aug 25, 2007 Steveg rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
This is a wonderful collection of Native American myths and legends that should be in everyone's library. I frequently pick it to read one of the stories.
John Kenny
I absolutely loved this book. It isn't a book that you read start to finish, but you jump around. For the stories range from one page to 20 pages.
Jocelyn Montalvo Cullum
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/11950556
Amir Soleimani
نمونه های مختلفی از اسطوره های سرخپوستی در این کتاب گرد هم آمده
کتاب فاقد تحلیلست ازینرو مطالعه کتاب قدرت اسطوره را پیش از این کتاب پیشنهاد میکنم
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