Indian Legends Retold - Elaine Goodale Eastman

Indian Legends Retold

By Elaine Goodale Eastman

  • Release Date - Published: 1953-01-01
  • Book Genre: Religion & Spirituality
  • Author: Elaine Goodale Eastman
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Indian Legends Retold Elaine Goodale Eastman read online review & book description:

The first Indian legends, repeated by the fireside to children, deal with the animals humanized, their gifts and their weaknesses, in such a way as to be a lesson to the young. Our view of the creation allows a soul to all living creatures, and rocks and trees are reverenced as sharers in the divine. Beyond their simplicity and realism there is always the unexplained, the background of mystery and spirituality. These animal fables serve as an introduction to more complicated stories with human actors, which almost always have their hidden moral and are accepted by our people as guides to life. They are full of humor and poetry, of pride, tenderness, boastfulness, and real heroism. Human lives are mingled with the supernatural, with elements and mysterious powers, bringing swift punishment for wrong-doing. This is the basis of our Indian philosophy, the groundwork early laid in the mind of the child, for him to develop later in life by his own observation. One who reads these stories carefully and thoughtfully will understand something of Indian psychology. Mystery to the Indian is not mystery after all, but a reflection of the Great Mystery which opens out as simply as a flower. To us nothing is strange or impossible. It seems natural that an animal or even a rock should speak; God is in it and speaks through it. It must be remembered that these are only fragments of what were once consecutive and continued stories, too long and involved to be set down here in full. With just such stories the foundation of my early education was laid in the cold winter evenings, and the impression made was permanent. The characters were real people to me, and the tales of the old men and old women fostered a love of nature, reverence, a kindly spirit, and finally patriotism and the inspiration to heroic effort. Like the other boys, I was expected to learn them by heart and rehearse them in the family circle. It is gratifying to have these old stories saved for the children of another race and generation.

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