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Latin American Folktales: Stories from Hispanic and Indian Traditionsby John Bierhorst
Synopses & Reviews
The wisdom and artistry of Latin America's storytellers preserve one of the world's richest folktale traditions--combining the lore of medieval Europe, the ancient Near East, and pre-Columbian America. Among the essential characters are the quiet man's wife who knew the Devil's secrets, the tree daughters who robbed their father's grave, and the wife in disguise who married her own husband--not to mention the Bear's son, the tricksters Fox and Monkey, the two compadres, and the classic rogue Pedro de Urdemalas.
Gathered from twenty countries, including the United States, the stories are here brought together in a core collection of one hundred tales arranged in the form of a velorio, or wake, the most frequent occasion for public storytelling. The tales are preceded by a selection of early Colonial legends foreshadowing the themes of Latino folklore and are followed by a carefully chosen group of modern Indian myths that replay the basic stories in a contrasting key. Riddles, chain riddles, and folk prayers, part and parcel of the velorio along with folktales, are introduced at appropriate junctures.
The collection is unprecedented in size and scope, and most of the tales have not been translated into English before. The result is the first panoramic anthology of Hispano-American folk narratives in any language--meant to be dipped into at random or read straight through from "Once and twice makes thrice upon a time" to "They were happy as the dickens and ate chickens."
From the Hardcover edition.
John Bierhorst's books on Latin American lore include The Mythology of South America and The Mythology of Mexico and Central America. A specialist in the language and literature of the Aztecs, he is the translator of the Cantares Mexicanos and the
Spanning some five centuries and twenty countries, this collection of traditional lore presents more than one hundred folktales selected from the Hispanic and Indian peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean and includes stories of mischievous tricksters, scheming witches, angels, arrogant aristocrats and humble peasants, and heroes and heroines. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.
Table of Contents
Prologue: early colonial legends — Montezuma — The talking stone — Montezuma's wound — Eight omens — The return of Quetzalcoatl — Is it you? — Legends of the Inca Kings — Mayta Capac — The storm — The vanishing bride — A messenger in black — The oracle at Huamachuco — Bringing out the Holy word — Folktales: a twentieth-century wake — In the city of Benjamin — Antuco's luck — Don Dinero and Do
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