The Myth of Hiawatha, and Other Oral Legends, Mythologic and Allegoric, of the North American Indians

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Published: 1856
Language: English
Wordcount: 94,978 / 265 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 54.3
LoC Category: BL
Downloads: 1,379
Added to site: 2007.05.28
mnybks.net#: 17120
Genre: Myth
Excerpt

It is a deity whom he destroys, a sort of Typhon or Ahriman in the system. It is immediately found, on going to his lodge, that it is a man, a hero, a chief, who is sick, and he must be cured by simples and magic songs like the rest of the Indians. He is surrounded with Indian doctors, who sing magic songs. He has all the powers of a deity, and, when he dies, the land is subjected to a flood; from which Hiawatha alone escapes. This play between the zoonic and mortal shapes of heroes must constantly be observed, in high as well as in ordinary characters. To have the name of an animal, or bird, or reptile, is to have his powers. When Pena runs, on a wager of life, with the Great Sorcerer, he changes himself sometimes into a partridge, and sometimes into a wolf, to outrun him.

The Indian's necessities of language at all times require personifications and linguistic creations. He cannot talk on abstract topics without them. Myths and spiritual agencies are constantly required. The ordinary domestic life of

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