1965, first edition. 24 color pages and over 100 black-and-white illustrations. Paul Hamlyn Limited, publisher.
From the Jacket
Most of us have a vivid picture of the North American Indians as a war-like people leading violent lives in which totem-poles, tomahawks and war-dances feature prominently. Few of us have considered the other, more peaceable aspects of their society: the organisation [sic] of tribal life, the adaption [sic] to environment, the psychology of a people seeking to live in harmony with nature, and the mythology that evolved as a result of this finely-balanced relationship.
Yet American Indian mythology has a special place, for it offers evidence of all the stages of prehistoric belief completely lost in the Old World in the mists of time. When the white man penetrated North America he found, existing side by side, different stages of cultural development, ranging from that of the palaeolithic [sic] hunters of the north to the more civilized [sic] town-dwellers of the south. In these primitive societies he rediscovered the simple, archetypal myths of mankind perpetuated in the New World.
This book is a wide-ranging survey of this undeservedly neglected subject. It presents the various groups of North American Indians, describes the principal gods and heroes of their mythology and recounts the typical beliefs of each region. It introduces the Corn Maidens and the Rolling Heads: it portrays the recurring Trickster figures such has Raven and Rabbit (and incidentally reveals how Rabbit developed into Brer Rabbit) and charts notable events such as the romantic origin of tobacco, and the vital discovery of maize.
Each chapter opens with a description of the geographical background of the various groups, as the Indian