From the earliest times people have told stories of gods and goddesses, of mythical creatures and fabulous places in an effort to explain the mysteries of everyday life. This encyclopedia explores the rich diversity of mythological themes within North, Central and South America. An accessible A-to-Z structure provides concise, factual entries on more than 600 key characters that allows the reader to discover who is who in American mythology. Why is the Thunderbird so feared? Which incident turned Coyote into such a mischief-maker? Who was the weeping warrior? Why did the Aztecs sacrifice so many people? What is the mystery surrounding El Dorado? Find the answers to these and many more questions in this visual guide to the mythology of the Americas. Aimed at readers of all ages, this book is a rich source of information for interpreting and understanding the myths and religions of the indigenous peoples of the American continent.
Original publication date
It excuses its lack of effort by being an encyclopedia. It has no articles that give real information, let alone insight. Practically any of the articles in this book would fit the inside cover of a book of matches. An occasional overview that would give some understanding of the archeological effort, the rites and everyday practices of the people discussed, anything above the age/sex/location format that is the overwhelming genre of this writing, would have been welcome.
This work is one of the few, though, that do address more of the American Peoples than just the major, picturesque ones with major relics or major presence in modern nations. The small nations both of remote South America as well as odd corners of North America are given as full a treatment as the Iroquis, Maya, or Inca. That is to say, not very much.