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Reviews 151 less to say, the experiment was a failure. The excellence of each strain was lost in the cross breeding. Perhaps this reviewer is wrong and the book will be widely bought, at $12.00 list, and widely read, while an inexpensive paper­ back would mold on the shelves. Let us hope so. For the writing has been done with care, and there are many passages of poetic value reflecting fresh Indian concepts of beauty and giving insights into the complex and sensitive imagination of racial groups that have been rarely understood. K a r l Y o u n g , Brigham Young University By Cheyenne Campfires. By George Bird Grinnell. With a Foreword by Omer C. Stewart. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1962, from the original 1926 edition, xxiv + 304 pages. Illus. $7.50. Also issued as a Yale Western American Paperbound, $1.95.) And When Buffalo Ran. By George Bird Grinnell. With a Publisher’s Note by Savoie Lottinville. (Norman: Oklahoma University Press, 1966, from the first or 1920 edition. 114 pages. Illus. $2.00.) Both of these volumes by George Bird Grinnell (1849-1938) vividly describe, narrate, and dramatize customs, ideas, and ideals of American Indians, especially traditions and history during the nineteenth century. Like Grinnell ’s other publications, each book is an authoritative source that is valuable not only to cultural anthropologists and social historians but also to students of literature. The sixteen illustrations are photographs taken by Mrs. Grinnell. In a Foreword to this edition of By Cheyenne Campfires, Professor Omer C. Stewart, University of Colorado, supplied a convenient biographical sketch of Grinnell’s amazingly diversified interests and accomplishments: in 1874, naturalist with the General Custer Expedition to the Black Hills; founder and supporter of the Audubon Society; editor and publisher of Forest and Stream (later called Field and Stream); writer of both scholarly and popular articles and books on Indians. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on the osteology of the Road Runner, served as a volunteer collector for Yale and Peabody museums, wrote many articles on natural history for a dozen popular journals like Scribner’s, Harpers, and Century, as well as scholarly articles for the American Anthropologist and the Journal of American Folklore. As pointed out by Professor Stewart (p. x), Grinnell’s intimate association with the Plains Indians (during a half century of living and visiting with them) enabled him 152 Western American Literature to “place himself by proxy and imagination in the role of the Indians. . . . he was able to report, from an Indian point of view and without personal bias, a great number of historical and mythical events remembered and en­ joyed by the Indians themselves.” Judged as literature, the best parts of By Cheyenne Campfires are the first and last sections. The stories of the warpath and horse-raids in the first section display considerable color, action, and speed of narration. Most of the stories involve a time setting of between 1810 and 1860. They begin when a young brave decides that he will prove his manhood and prowess. He or­ ganizes a war party of six or eight warriors to go on a horse-stealing expedition against some Pawnee or Ute camp. The stories vividly portray minute plans to kill whole villages, long treks without food for days, tactics in stealing horses, and brave exploits of leaders in protecting their followers. Most of the expeditions were successful, but a few ended tragically. One of the best for color and suspense is “Starving and Killing Fat Meat,” which ends with a degree of surprise. Many of the stories in the last section are trickster stories like many collected by George A. Dorsey and Alfred L. Kroeber about 1900 and published in such collections as Traditions of the Arapaho (Chicago: Field Columbian Museum Publication 81, 1903). Indeed, some of Grinnell’s stories about the slow-witted and forgetful Wihio are versions of stories col­ lected by Dorsey and Kroeber and told about Nihancan: for example, almost drowning while diving into a stream for reflections of plums on a tree leaning over the stream; being frequently tricked by the coyote; getting stuck in an elk skull while watching a sun...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 151-153
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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