White Wolf Woman

Teresa Pijoan, Author, Teresa Van Etten, Author August House Publishers $11.95 (168p) ISBN 978-0-87483-200-6
The 40 transformation myths collected by Pijoan ( Spanish-American Folktales ) come from tribes scattered across North America (two are from South America) and provide a good introduction to the diverse spirit world of the continent's indigenous peoples. They are stories of healing, involving persons who are able to transform themselves into animals and thus tap the power of those creatures. The tales are grouped by the type of animal involved (snakes, wolves, bears and others). Typical is the Pawnee story of the ``Bear-man,'' featuring a hunter who rescues a lost cub and whose reward is healing and special power for his son when the latter is killed in battle. The title story is a powerful myth about a Zuni woman kidnapped by Navahos. Finding her way back to her village with the aid of a white wolf, she is spurned by her tribe as a traitor. At her death she is transformed into a white wolf and achieves her freedom. Pijoan provides brief introductions to each section in which she relates further Native stories, including the Cherokee creation myth in which the hills are formed by the wing beats of a heaven-sent buzzard. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1992
Release date: 12/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
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