Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Native American Lore: Egerton R. Young's Algonquin Indian Tales

Today is the last day of November, which is Native American Heritage Month.

This last week we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade which had the annual float presented by the Oneida Nation, though it seemed multi-tribal, featuring New York Yankee pitcher Joba Chamberlain, of the Winnebago/Ho-Chunk tradition.

Todd Mason, at this link, collected last week's Friday's Forgotten Books which were to feature Canadian authors, and I missed my chance to then blog about one of my favorites, Egerton R. Young's Algonquin Indian Tales.

Young wrote with insight about collected American Indian lore and he also wrote tales about his own experiences in the Canadian north.  Jack London based the dogs in his own marvelous work of fiction, The Call of the Wild, upon those featured in Young's autobiographical work, My Dogs in the Northland.  The sled dogs in the movie, Eight Below, seemed to reflect both works in the names of the dogs (see my review at Amazon, link).

I suspect that Native American traditions get more accurate play in American fiction today than ever before, at least compared to earlier mainstream novels and movies.

Tony Hillerman, Margaret Coel, James D. Doss, and a few other sharp novelists have crafted mystery series involving American Indian characters in a generally accurate and sympathic fashion.  Not to mention what many literary novelists such as Louise Erdrich and Jim Harrison have done. 

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