Myths and Legends of California and the Old Southwest

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Copyright: This work is in the public domain in the USA only.

These collected myths of Indian tribes in California and the Southwest were first published in 1912 and are introduced in this Bison Book edition by Peter Iverson. Here are the Zuni, Pima, Paiute, Shastika, and Miwok stories of the creation of the universe, animals, and humans. They tell of good and evil, the entrance of death into the world, great floods and fire, and the origins of names. Also included are fables, rain songs, the Paiute song of the Ghost Dance, and legends of Yosemite Valley.We find here the Zuni legends of Corn Maidens and the Navajo tale of the boy who became a god. Coyote in his guises as trickster, benefactor, and dupe appears prominently in the myths of the Achomawis, Gallinomeros, Miwoks, Nishinams, Pimas, Ashochimis, Karoks, Paiutes, and Sias (Zia Pueblos). Here, too, are such creators and destroyers as Old Mole, Spider, Snake, Measuring Worm, Raven, and Macaw, and a host of anthropomorphized animals and natural forces.