This revealing work introduces readers to the mythologies of Native Americans from the United States to the Arctic Circle—a rich, complex, and diverse body of lore, which remains less widely known than mythologies of other peoples and places.
In thematic chapters and encyclopedia-style entries, Handbook of Native American Mythology examines the characters and deities, rituals, sacred locations and objects, concepts, and stories that define and distinguish mythological cultures of various indigenous peoples. By tracing the traditions as far back as possible and following their evolution from generation to generation, Handbook of Native American Mythology offers a unique perspective on Native American history, culture, and values. It also shows how central these traditions are to contemporary Native American life, including the continuing struggle for land rights, economic parity, and repatriation of cultural property.
- More than 40 photographs and illustrations portraying traditional customs and lifeways, antiquities, artwork (e.g., motifs, baskets, pottery, rugs, masks, totem poles), clothing and dress, and prominent places within traditional sacred geographies
- Maps of Native American cultural areas and climates of North America, which are revealing because of the central role climate and weather play in a number of Native American myths