Sweet Salt: Navajo Folktales and Mythology

Raymond Friday Locke, Author, Ray Locke, Author Roundtable Publishing $12.95 (216p) ISBN 978-0-915677-43-6
Much of the charm of this collection, which provides a glimpse into the sophisticated system of Navajo myth, comes from Locke's own contagious delight in the subject matter. Related in a comfortable, storytelling style, the tales sound splendid read aloud. In the Creation story, the earliest beings are insects who live in the ``first world'' until driven out by the gods; they migrate (or evolve) up through succeeding worlds until they reach the fourth, where they attain human form. In another tale, First Man and First Woman make the sun, moon and some stars; mischievous Coyote hurls the remaining star material across the sky to create the Milky Way. For acts of bravery, there are the Hero Twins who, with the help of their father the Sun God, defeat monsters threatening their land but spare Old Age, Cold, Poverty and Hunger. These narratives are not sanitized fairy tales for children (``Was it your vagina who killed the deer?'' asks First Man of First Woman), but Locke ( The Book of the Navajo ) unfortunately ``cleaned up'' some of the material to suit modern sensibilities. ( May )
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
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