NO THOROUGH collection or study has been made of the folk traditions of the Yaquis. Only about a score of Yaqui stories are to be found in published form. Alfonso Fabila has printed five stories and three songs (Fabila 1940: 202-205, 212-243). Spicer reviews a half-dozen stories and notes the existence of animal tales among the Yaquis of Arizona (Spicer 1940b: 197, 240-241, 254, 261-262). Beals has published a few Yaqui traditions about serpents (Beals 1933: 78-81) and thirteen myths and tales identified as Cahita (Beals 1945: 215-224). A brief resume of Yaqui tradition by one of their leaders has been printed in an appendix to a work by Holden, et al (1936: 216-231). In manuscript form, Johnson has recorded the Spanish and Yaqui texts of a small, well rounded collection of stories (Johnson 1940) and Wilder has contributed a collection and study of the Yaqui deer-songs from Pascua village, Arizona (Wilder 1940).
It is known that Yaqui society has been influenced strongly by Spanish and Mexican culture, judging from indications in historical records and from studies of the modern Yaquis.
In making this collection of stories it was the objective to illustrate two things: (1) the nature of the folk literature of the Yaquis and (2) the influences which successive foreign contacts have exerted upon Yaqui folklore.
Collections were made in Potam, Sonora from February through April of 1942 and during regular visits to Pascua and Barrio Libre near Tucson, Arizona from May to September of the same year. The notes on the narrators refer to this period.