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, humble peasants, and heroes and heroines.

Stories from Hispanic and Indian Traditions 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."


ISBN13: 9780375714399
Format: Paperback / softback
Number of Pages: 400
Publication Date: 9 Sep 2003
Publisher: Random House USA Inc
Publication City, Country: United States
Dimensions (cm): 23.4(H) x 15.5(W)522
Weight (gm): 522

Author Biography

John Bierhorst's books on Latin American lore include The Mythology of South America and The Mythology of Mexico and Central America. He currently serves as an editor of The Norton Anthology of World Literature.


"A cornucopia of magic and myth . . . Beware, for the pages of this volume-filled with tricksters, witches, and ghosts-are enchanted!"
-Ilan Stavans

"Delightful . . . A rich and magical history of Hispanic and Indian traditions in the Americas. There is enough magic in this book to please everyone."
-The Virginian-Pilot

"Beware. This book has the ability to cast spells. After about a dozen pages, the reader slips from the present and into a magical time and place. Bierhorst has written many books based on Latin American lore, and [this] may well be his best. He approaches his subject matter with respect and humor, [and] the result is a panoramic anthology retaining the magic and allure that are the hallmarks of oral storytelling."
-Arizona Daily Star

"Bierhorst is a prolific folklorist who specializes in making oral traditions from a variety of cultures accessible to the general reading public. Each reader is certain to find favorites of his or her own."
-Richmond Times-Dispatch
Latin American Folktales: Stories from Hispanic and Indian Traditions

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