Read e-book online At the Font of the Marvelous: Exploring Oral Narrative and PDF

By Anthony Wonderley

ISBN-10: 081563207X

ISBN-13: 9780815632078

The folktales and myths of the Iroquois and their Algonquian acquaintances rank one of the so much imaginatively wealthy and narratively co-herent traditions in North the US. encouraged by means of those wondrous stories, Anthony Wonderley explores their importance to Iroquois and Algonquian religions and worldviews. in most cases recorded round 1900, those oral narratives safeguard the voice and whatever of the outlook of autochthonous american citizens from a bygone age, while storytelling was once a huge aspect of everyday life.

Grouping the tales round shared issues and motifs, Wonderley analyzes issues starting from cannibal giants to cultural heroes, and from legends of neighborhood areas to myths of human starting place. Approached relatively and traditionally, those tales can enhance our realizing of archaeological is still, ethnic barriers, and previous cultural interchanges between Iroquois and Algonquian peoples.

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Extra info for At the Font of the Marvelous: Exploring Oral Narrative and Mythic Imagery of the Iroquois and Their Neighbors

Sample text

Iroquois Star Lore | 13 The most obvious message of the Pleiades stories today is not hunger, quest for power, or lessons in proper parenting. Rather, the central theme is dancing (see Monroe and Williamson 1987, 3), as is emphatically stated in the first recorded version of 1838. That account describes a group of young men who dance to revive neglected religious observances.  . Since that calamitous event, which was considered a judgment of the Great Spirit for the wickedness of the tribe in omitting to honor him by dances, they have ever since been religiously kept up” (Severance 1904, 69).

In Seneca oral tradition, there seem to have been two fairly distinct versions of the subject, both emphasizing how the Kahkwas invaded their territory then east of the Genesee River. One form of the tale goes on to describe a Seneca counterattack that dislodged the Kahkwas from western New York. The narrative of the Kahkwa War as told by Senecas pointed two morals: Senecas own Kahkwa territory by right of just conquest, and Senecas are superior to other people. Tuscaroras, through the written word, conveyed a somewhat different story that linked the Kahkwa War to the career of a peace queen.

So now the seven dancing boys of the Pleiades have become the Big Dipper. Discussion It seems, then, the Iroquois Pleiades have been assigned at least two names and two stories, at least one of which is applicable to at least one other Iroquois Star Lore | 11 constellation. It turns out, however, that none of these characteristics is unique to the Iroquois. Two distinct names for this constellation are recorded among the Arapaho (Dorsey and Kroeber 1997, 160–61), Cherokee (Hagar 1906, 358), Penobscot (Speck 1935a, 20), Shawnee (Kinietz and Voegelin 1939, 37), and possibly the Blackfeet (Miller 1997, 246).

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At the Font of the Marvelous: Exploring Oral Narrative and Mythic Imagery of the Iroquois and Their Neighbors by Anthony Wonderley


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