Grandmother, Grandfather, and Old Wolf: Tamánwit Ku Súkat and Traditional Native American Narratives from the Columbia Plateau

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Clifford E. Trafzer
Michigan State University Press, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 326 pages

A fascinating compilation of original sources recounting the history, culture, and societies of Native American groups of the Great Columbia Plateau. Edited and annotated by award-winning writer Clifford E. Trafzer, this is a magnificent collection of oral stories of the Yakama, Nez Perce, Whisram, Klickitat, as well as several other tribes. Rich in detail, the stories form the basis for Plateau Indian history, offering readers traditional native narratives that allow people to enter a sacred world of words and stories. At the beginning of time -- for all times -- these stories were told and retold for generations by all the Grandmothers and Grandfathers. These stories set animals, plants, and places in motion, and they help spin the cosmos into being. They keep the traditions alive and recreate the world with each telling. 
     This unique collection is representative of oral traditions that are still much a part of Plateau Indian culture today. Trafzer provides a provocative introduction that ties the oral traditions of the people to their history and culture, inviting readers to use the stories as windows that will offer a better understanding of Native Americans and their relationship with the natural world. Trafzer simply asks readers to enter the Native American world through the teachings and tellings of the Wahteetash, the first peoples.

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About the author (1998)

Clifford E. Trafzer is Director of American Indian Studies at University of California, Riverside. [He received the 1996-97 Wordcraft Prose Writer of the Year Award for Death Stalks the Yakama.)

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