Friday, November 18, 2022

Tricksters: A Study in American Indian Mythology.

To finish up this week of secondary trickster literature, it's a groundbreaking study of Native American trickster traditions by anthropologist Paul Radin: The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology.


The Winnebago Trickster Cycle occupies the first 60 pages of the book, followed by the Winnebago Hare Cycle, which takes up another 30 pages. He also provides detailed summaries of the Assiniboine Trickter and Tlingit Trickster myths. There then follow 60 pages of analysis from Radin, along with a 20-page essay by Karl Kerenyi about parallels with ancient Greek trickster traditions, and a 20-page essay by Jung on the psychology of the trickster figure.

You can find out more about Radin's life and career at Wikipedia. He was born in 1883, and the trickster materials here in this book are from work he did with the Hocąk (Winnebago) people around 1910. 

Later in his career, Radin began doing comparative work on indigenous storytelling traditions in other parts of the world, especially Africa. You might remember this important anthology of African stories and sculptures which he published in 1952: African Folktales and Sculpture (the 1962 edition has only the text):


You can read more about that book in this blog post, and all of these books are just a click away at the Internet Archive, along with more books and other publications by Radin. Enjoy! 

by Paul Radin



No comments:

Post a Comment