Creation Myths of Primitive America, by Jeremiah Curtin, , at sacred-texts.com
THE following notes are put in as condensed a form as possible. They are confined to explanations of the actors or characters in the myths, and to information concerning the meaning of names of persons and places.
The myths from one to nine inclusive are Wintu, from ten to the end Yana. These two nations, though neighbors, are not related; their languages are radically different.
In 1895 I made a journey to California in consequence of an arrangement with the late Charles A. Dana, editor of "The Sun." According to this arrangement, Mr. Dana was to publish on consecutive Sundays such myth-tales as I might think of sufficient value to appear in his paper. Those myths were to be found by me in California, Mexico, and Guatemala.
I began at the source of the Sacramento River, and worked down to the mouth, my last stopping-place being the extensive hop-fields in the lower valley.
In San Francisco I wrote the following short account of the Wintus. That done, I set out for Mexico.
In the city of Guadalajara I copied the myths obtained in California and sent them to "The Sun." After that I worked at "Quo Vadis," the greater part of which I translated in Guadalajara.
All the myths in this volume were published in "The Sun," and appeared as a part of a series pertaining to Indians in California, Mexico, and Guatemala.
Only the California part has been published thus far.
After leaving Guadalajara I spent almost a year in Guatemala and Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico. Among the last places which I visited was Palenque. A view of one part of the ruins of this remarkable and mysterious city appears as a frontispiece to the present volume.