This article holds that native American communities generally did not produce and maintain stories of white and Indian relations, in other words,the sort of stories that loom large in the writings of ethnohistorians. What the communities traditionally produced instead were myths and mythologies about an ancient Edenic time before normal human procreation and marriage. The article also holds that the main influence on the content of mythologies was neighboring mythologies, such that each people's telling of ancientness was a parody, but a compassionate one, of its neighbors' tellings. The commitments to parody and to Edenic content hamper these mythologies in today's cultural world. The tellings were wonderful, but now they are past.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.