WIZARDS AND WAMPUM: Legends of the Iroquois by Roger -- Retold by Squire

WIZARDS AND WAMPUM: Legends of the Iroquois

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Seven elaborated stories, ""inspired by ancient legends but freely adopted for children,"" in which bits of Iroquois lore and custom are obviously worked into the conversations rather than implicit in the style or situation. The outsider's title indicates the approach. There are animals outwitted by other animals or by man (but not very cleverly), young men in contest with old chiefs or wizards, and -- most promising but never as funny as it should be -- a man and a bear in each other's bodies and a human wife who must choose between them. The staged dialogue and slack narration are in direct opposition to the rhythmic concision of (anyone's) true folklore and there is no indication of sources except the note that two of the stories are ""based on the book Seneca Indian Myths by Jeremiah Curtin"" (1923). The black and white illustrations with their close-packed curving lines have a heavy, self-important air that the stories can't support.

Pub Date: March 27th, 1972
Publisher: Abelard-Schuman