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Mythology of the Blackfoot Indians

Mythology of the Blackfoot Indians, originally published in 1908 by the American Museum of Natural History, introduces such figures as Old Man, Scar-Face, Blood-Clot, and the Seven Brothers. Included are tales with ritualistic origins emphasizing the prototypical Beaver-Medicine and the roles played by Elk-Woman and Otter-Woman, and a presentation of Star Myths, which reveal the astronomical knowledge of the Blackfoot Indians. Narratives about Raven, Grasshopper, and Whirlwind-Boy account for conditions in humanity and nature. Many of the stories in the concluding group-like "The Lost Children" and "The Ghost-Woman"-were tales told to Blackfoot children. Clark Wissler notes that these narratives were collected very early in the twentieth century from the Piegans in Montana and from the North Piegans, Bloods, and Northern Blackfoot in Canada. Most were translated by D. C. Duvall and revised for Mythology of the Blackfoot Indians by Wissler. Wissler (1870-1947) was curator at the American Museum of Natural History and chairman of the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University. Among his major works are North American Indians of the Plains and Man and Culture. Introducing this Bison Book edition is Alice B. Kehoe, a professor of sociology and anthropology at Marquette University and the author of North American Indians: A Comprehensive Account.
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