Native American History Book Reviews :
The Portable North American Indian Reader ,
edited by Frederick Turner

Classification : History of Native Americans and their literature - religion - myths - legends - folklore - customs - traditions ; History and Tribes of the the North American Indians ; Tribal Society - Hunter-Gatherer Societies - Culture of Indigenous People

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Frederick Turner [ Frederick W. Turner ] (Editor) ,
The Portable North American Indian Reader (Paperback, 628 pages)

Frederick Turner , The Portable North American Indian Reader

        The Portable North American Indian Reader is an anthology of tales and experiences of Native American societies. It's is an enlightening work by Frederick W. Turner III, a professor of English and folklore at the University of Massachusetts. When the first edition was published in 1974, the Frederick Turner had already become somewhat well-known by his 1970 work editing the autobiography of the Apache chief Geronimo (1829-1909) [Now out of print].

        Some of the content is mythology, for example, the Cherokee myths of how the world was made, the first fire, the origin of medicine, "How the rabbit stole the otter's coat", "How the deer got his horns". The legends and poems are both spiritual and filled with natural imagery. After this, the focus of the book changes to what contemporary society would recognize as historical events, such as a 77-page excerpt from Paul Radin's 1920 book, The Autobiography of a Winnebago Indian. This transition in the book isn't sharp, since the religious elements and the mythological version of history appear throughout.

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Table of Contents

    The Portable North American Indian Reader
    Edited by Frederick W. Turner
    Table of contents taken from the 1983 reprint

  Introduction					   1

  I - Myths and Tales

  Editor's note                                    21
  Penobscot					   25
  Micmac					   30
  Iroquois					   36
  Cherokee					   86
  Winnebago					   106
  Sioux 					   125
  Blackfeet					   158
  Navajo					   175
  Hopi						   206
  Tlingit					   213
  Nez Perce					   225

  II - Poetry and Oratory

  Poems and Songs:

  The Newly Created World (Winnebago)		   238
  Emergence Song (Pima) 			   238
  War Songs (Sioux)				   239
  Two Fragments (Dakota and Ojibwa)		   239
  Song (Ojibwa) 				   239
  Magic Formula to Make an Enemy Peaceful (Navajo) 240

  Spring Song (Ojibwa)				   240
  Offering (Zuni)				   240
  Is This Real (Pawnee) 			   241

  Oratory:

  Powhatan (Powhatan)				   242
  Canassatego (Iroquois)			   243
  Dragging Canoe (Cherokee)			   244
  Pachgantschilias (Delaware)			   244
  Tecumseh (Shawnee)				   245
  Sharitarish (Pawnee)				   247
  Speckled Snake (Creek)			   249
  Senachwine (Potawatomi)			   250
  Seattle (Dwamish)				   251
  Charlot (Flathead)				   253
  Sitting Bull (Sioux)				   254
  Plenty Coups (Crow)				   256

  III - Culture Contact

  Editor's Note                                    259

  Explorations:
  The Discovery and Conquest of New Spain	   260
  The Expedition of Lewis and Clark		   291

  Captivity Narratives:
  The Captivity of Mary Rowlandson		   312
  John Tanner's Narrative of his Captivity         360

  Acculturation:
  The Autobiography of a Winnebago Indian	   378
  Mountain Wolf Woman				   453

  IV - Image and Anti-Image

  Editor's Note                                    485
  Philip Freneau, The Indian Convert		   487
  Philip Freneau, The Indian Student		   488
  Philip Freneau, The Indian Burying Ground	   491
  Harold W. Thompson, Tom Quick 		   493
  Thomas Bangs Thorpe, The Disgraced Scalp Lock    502
  Herman Melville, The Confidence-Man		   515
  Francis Parkman, The Conspiracy of Pontiac	   528
  Thomas Berger, Little Big Man 		   538
  Paul Jenkins, Custer's Last Stand                556
  Gary Snyder, Earth House Hold 		   558
  Luther Standing Bear, Land of the Spotted Eagle  567
  N. Scott Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain	   578
  Vine Deloria, Jr.; We Talk, You Listen	   587
  James Welch, Surviving			   597
  James Welch, Christmas Comes to Moccasin Flat    597
  James Welch, In a Lifetime			   598
  Hyemeyohsts Storm, Seven Arrows		   599
  Ray Young Bear, Four Songs of Life		   610
  Ray Young Bear, Morning-Talking Mother	   612
  Ray Young Bear, Through Lifetime		   613
  Simon Ortiz, Kaiser and the War		   615

  Bibliography					   626
This is an Amazon.com link for The Portable North American Indian Reader , edited by Frederick Turner

        The Viking Press / Penguin Books "Portable Library" is a series a compilations with an average length of about 700 pages each, with editions for Thoreau, Steinbeck, Whitman, Jefferson, Poe, Melville, and dozens of others. The entire series is an excellent resource for learning about specific authors. The Portable North American Indian Reader is an exception in that it isn't an anthology of a single author.


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