Now back in print after more than thirty years, The Zunis: Self-Portrayals offers forty-six stories of myth, prophecy, and history from the great oral literature of the Zuni Indians of New Mexico. Selected by the Zuni people themselves, the tales told here preserve their cultural traditions--from the Zuni creation myth and the rituals of masked dances to farming and hunting practices and battles with Navajos and Apaches. There are tales about ghosts and personified animals, and fables told to discipline children or to warn them against foolhardy bravery and braggadocio. Some of the stories are moral fables, and some are intended as entertainment pure and simple, tales told by a skillful narrator to pass a long evening.
"Prophecies of old, told by the old to the young--coming true. The dos and don'ts for a long and good life. Briefly, this is the way of my people. Stories told with morals attached, characters, whether fictional or true, that symbolize these ways have kept us together so long."--Robert E. Lewis, former governor of Zuni Pueblo, from the Introduction