"This volume contains translations of Apache stories that reflect our distinct view of the world and our approach to life. These myths and fables have survived through untold generations because the truth contained in them is eternal and the moral lessons that they teach are still valid. . . . You can read these stories and catch a glimpse of how our ancestors observed nature, drew metaphors from everyday observations and happenings, and applied the lessons learned to everyday life. Read them and you will see how harmony with nature and the natural world is the goal of every Apache." --Ronnie Lupe, Tribal Chairman, White Mountain Apache Tribe
These fifty-seven tales (with seven variants) gathered between 1931 and 1936 include major cycles dealing with Creation and Coyote, minor tales, and additional stories derived from Spanish and Mexican tradition. The tales are of two classes: holy tales said by some to explain the origin of ceremonies and holy powers, and tales which have to do with the creation of the earth, the emergence, the flood, the slaying of monsters, and the origin of customs. As Grenville Goodwin was the first anthropologist to work with the White Mountain Apache, his insights remain a primary source on this people.
Grenville Goodwin's authorship in the late 1930s of The Social Organization of the Western Apache made him a major figure in North American ethnology by only scratched the surface of his profound knowledge of the Apache. A New Yorker by birth, Goodwin's understanding of Apache ways came not from schooling but from living over a period of eight years with the Apaches on the San Carlos Reservation. The keenness of his perceptions and his empathy with his subjects made him an authority and friend respected by both Apache tribal members and leading anthropologists the world over. In 1940, death interrupted Goodwin's plan to write a series of additional monographs on other aspects of Western Apache life.