THE SUN CAME DOWN: The History of the World as My Blackfeet Elders Told It by Percy Bullchild

THE SUN CAME DOWN: The History of the World as My Blackfeet Elders Told It

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A collection of Piegan Indian folk tales as remembered by the author from oral traditions. Bullchild, nearly 70, is a local hero of sorts (as an artist and musician) to his tribe. Over a lifetime, he has gathered these tales and recorded them with photographic precision. The editors of this collection have opted to maintain the poor grammar and broken English of his recitations, so that the reader can imagine that he is sitting around a campfire hearing these tales. Basically, the legends involve the ""Creator Sun,"" who fashions the earth by spitting into a ball of dust. Along the way, we meet Napi, an impish helper of humanity, and Ku-toe-yis, whom the Sun sends to repair Napi's mischief. What shows through here is how similar these legends are to our conventional Western creation stories. Substitute ""God"" for ""Creator Sun"" and many other elements fit right into place. Unfortunately, in his occasional asides, Bullchild inserts a dose of militant anti-white-man propaganda. One can understand this, but it spoils the book, which should be capable of standing on its own as legend. (The Piegans and the Shoshones had some fierce battles before the white man came, so all wasn't exactly as idyllic as Bullchild would seem to suggest.) But overall a welcome contribution to native American folklore.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1985
Publisher: Harper & Row