From the introduction: "Folk-tales are the verbal account of the world view and way of life of a people. They hold a special importance when the people lack a formal system of writing. For a thousand years the philosophy, religion, morals, customs, and ideas of the Iroquoian people were perpetuated by means of the spoken word. Folklore may explain the origin of man, animals, plants, and the world. Codes of behaviour, ethics, and social mores are validated in accounts which describe, for example, heroic or malicious deeds. Story- telling was used to socialize and instruct young people and acted as a social cohesive for the whole group." The tales which Rona Rustige has collected contain many folkloric motifs which relate them to other Iroquoian literatures. In the context of this body of Iroquoian folklore the tales take on a broader significance and their preservation allows for future systematic study.