Algonquin Legends

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, Feb 10, 2012 - History - 432 pages
This classic collection contains myths, legends, and folklore of the principal Wabanaki, or northeastern Algonquin Indians, i.e. the Passamaquoddies and Penobscots of Maine and the Micmacs of New Brunswick. Most of this material was gathered directly from Indian narrators by Charles G. Leland (1824-1903), a brilliant and gifted Philadelphia-born journalist, essayist, and folklorist.
In compiling the work, Leland noted interesting affinities between the myths of the Northeastern tribes and those of the Eskimos, and striking similarities between the myths of the Algonquins and the Eddas, sagas and popular tales of Scandinavia. For example, may of the stories in this book deal with Glooskap, a divinity with strong resemblances to such Norse gods as Thor and Odin. We learn how Glooskap made man from an ash tree, named the animals, gave gifts to men, went to England and France and made America known to the Europeans, and performed many other curious deeds. Here too are the merry tales of Lox, the Mischief-maker, who bears a strong resemblance to Loki of Scandinavian mythology. Also included are the amazing adventures of Master Rabbit, the Chenoo legends, stories of At-o-sis the serpent, the story of the Three Strong Men, the Weewillmekq', tales of magic, and more.
Myths and legends provide unique and authentic sources of knowledge about our deepest instincts and ways of interpreting the world and our place in it. This volume remains one of the most powerful and revealing studies of the Algonquin versions of such myths, a thorough, comprehensive collection that will prove invaluable to any student of American Indian culture or myth, folklore, and religion. General readers will also find these tales highly readable and delightfully entertaining.

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About the author (2012)

Charles Godfrey Leland was born in Philadelphia on August 15, 1824, the eldest child of commission merchant Charles Leland and his wife Charlotte. Leland loved reading and language. When he moved to Europe to study law, he became intrigued with German culture, gypsy lore, the language of Romany, and Shelta, an ancient dialect spoken by Irish and Welsh gypsies. After his law studies were completed, Leland became a journalist, working for such periodicals as P.T. Barnum's Illustrated News, Vanity Fair, and Graham's Magazine. The mid-to-late 1850s were very eventful for Leland; he published his first book, Meister Karl's Sketch-Book in 1855 and married Eliza Bella Fisher in 1856. What probably clinched his fame was "Hans Breitmann's Party" a German dialect poem that he wrote under the pen name Hans Breitmann and that captured the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect and humor. While he was best known for his essays, poetry, and humor, Leland also firmly believed that the industrial arts were the keys to a good education, and he wrote many textbooks on the subject. Leland spent most of the latter part of his life in Europe, writing a wealth of books. He died in Florence, Italy, on March 20, 1903.

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