Collected by H. R. Schoolcraft (1793-1864) and retold by William Trowbridge Larned (d. 1928).
Total runtime: 2.8 hours
With no written language, Native Americans living in the Lake Superior region passed their cultural identity down through the generations by way of stories. Far more than mere tales to amuse children, they passed along the collective wisdom of the tribes. In the 1830s, government Indian Agent and ethnologist Henry R Schoolcraft learned the language of these people and went out to collect and preserve their stories before the tribes disappeared under the westward rush of American civilization. Though these stories were recast as childrenâ€™s fairy tales in the 1920s, they contain much of the old wisdom of a culture which has largely disappeared.
Henry Rowe Schoolcraft (March 28, 1793 â€“ December 10, 1864) was an American geographer, geologist, and ethnologist, noted for his early studies of Native American cultures, as well as for his 1832 discovery of the source of the Mississippi River. He married Jane Johnston, who was of Ojibwe and Scots-Irish descent. Her knowledge of the Ojibwe language and of Ojibwe legends, which she shared with Schoolcraft, formed in part the source material for Longfellow's epic poem, The Song of Hiawatha.
His second wife Mary Howard was from the planter elite in South Carolina. In response to the abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe's bestselling Uncle Tom's Cabin, she published The Black Gauntlet: A Tale of Plantation Life in South Carolina (1860), one of many anti-Tom novels in the years before the American Civil War.
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