American Indian Cultural Heroes and Teaching Tales
Following the format of his American Indian Prophecies, Kaltreider--a trained philosopher and clinical psychologist who is of Nanticoke, German and English descent--presents Native American tales and legends as a series of fictionalized conversations between Chasing Deer, a Cheyenne/Lakota elder, and John Lawson, a college-educated white man. In the discussions recounted here, John learns about three American Indian heroes (two real and one spiritual) and listens to a series of humorous folktales, related by Chasing Deer, about Iktomi, a Lakota mischief maker whose escapades illustrate what can go wrong when principles of cooperation are abandoned. Kaltreider's portraits of Dakanahwideh, who founded the Iroquois Confederation, Sweet Medicine, and White Buffalo Calf Maiden, a holy woman who taught sacred traditions are engaging. And he manages to work a great deal of little-acknowledged conventional history into his conversations with Chasing Deer, who emerges as an inspiring ethical thinker.