Sacred Texts  Native American 

Snowbird, American Indian Fairy Tales, p. 10 [1907] (Public Domain Image)

American Indian Fairy Tales

by Margaret Compton


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This is a collection of Native American folklore, retold for children and young adults, over a century ago. The author, probably not a Native American herself, drew on authentic lore from a wide variety of culture regions, but sprinkled in stereotypical language and anomalous items from the woodland area ("squaw," "papoose," "wigwam"). However, the author was obviously well-intentioned and, for her time, appears to have had a fairly progressive attitude. Notably, she preserves some of the motifs in the stories such as grotesque monsters and cross-dressing, which some other children's book authors of her day (and ours) might have glossed over.

This is the second edition of this book, which was originally published in 1895 and titled Snow Bird and the Water Tiger and other American Indian Tales. The uncredited illustrations are nice examples of children's book art from the period. The book also has decorative borders on every page, some of which can be viewed on the verso page image.

Title Page
Author's Note
List of Illustrations
The Story-Teller Himself
Snowbird and the Water-Tiger
The Coyote or Prairie Wolf.
How Mad Buffalo Fought the Thunder-Bird
The Red Swan
The Bended Rocks
White Hawk, the Lazy
The Magic Feather
The Star Maiden
The Fighting Hare
The Great Head
The Adventures of Living Statue
Turtle-Dove, Sage-Cock, and the Witch
The Island of Skeletons
Stone-Shirt and the One-Two
The Great Wizard
White Cloud's Visit to the Sun-Prince