March 15, 2007

Indians and dinosaurs!

Native American Fossil LegendsNative American discoveries and ideas about fossils, from tiny shells to dinosaur bones, from 1520 to the present, gathered from more than 45 tribes in North and South America, including Aztec, Inca, Navajo, Hopi, Apache, Zuni, Yaqui, Crow, Sioux, Blackfeet, Pawnee, Comanche, Osage, Cheyenne, Iroquois, Delaware, Shawnee, and many more.

by Adrienne Mayor (Princeton, 2005)


writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
writerfella has that very book, found by and sent to him as a gift from his ex-Marine Cryptozoologist buddy in Arizona. It's fairly dry in most passages, but the more accessible portions include a folksy anecdote about the Euchee people who attended the opening of the Oklahoma Natural History Museum at Oklahoma University (Norman) in 2000. The allosaurid dinsaur exhibit was proclaimed by the Euchees as being the same monster lizard described in their legends. When asked if it only resembled such a creature, the Natives were adament that it was one and the same. The article that includes the above information was published in the quality paperback volume, CRYPTOZOOLOGY, And The Investigation of Lesser-Known Mystery Animals, by Coachwhip Publications in 20006, ed. by Chad Arment. The article was written by the ex-Marine buddy and edited dutifully and fulsomely by writerfella. Thereafter, the book was secured and sent to writerfella. It is a fascinating work, to be sure, though its scientific basis seeks to establish that the finding of fossils by Native Americans in pre-Columbian times may have been the basis of some of their legends. Please know that writerfella is all over the map of such pursuits and even has made his own contributions to the literature...
All Best
Russ Bates

adrienne Mayor said...

I'm delighted to find my book mentioned on bluecorn/ Newspaper Rock! Thank you. There is a neat comix tie-in, as the cover art by Pete Von Sholly indicates: the scene was inspired by the 1950-60s Turok comic series. In my interviews with elders and storytellers and others of a certain age on reservations, I found that a lot of people remembered loving the adventures of Turok and Andar, because it was respectful and relatively accurate about Plains Indian culture for that era. Then when I interviewed paleontologists in the same age groups, they too told me how much they loved Turok's adventures in the lost valley of dinos, because the dinosaurs were drawn and described accurately for that time period. So, Turok comics turned out to be a hidden connection between traditional Native Americans and the most creative dinosaur scientists (this is discussed in my book).

I know of Russell Bates from his beautifully written foreword to Nick Sucik's 2004 report on Flying Snakes in Navajo and Hopi traditions. Now I'll be sure to get a copy of Cryptozoology ed by Arment (2006).

Once again, thanks for including my book (out in paperback this month) on Newspaper Rock. It may be bit "dry" --apologies for that!--but it's intended for both scholarly and general audiences and, as you well know, it's hard for independent researchers to get the attention of academics. To do that, I had to document everything "scientifically" since this is a new, emerging field of study! Thanks to the efforts of Russell Bates, Nick Sucik, Rob Schmidt, Ruth Ludwin, Roger Echo-Hawk, Steve Pavlik, the late Vine Deloria, Jr, and many others, geomythology (natural knowledge embedded in traditional language) is becoming an important discipline and scientists are slowly becoming aware of the scientific insights in myths and legends about nature.
Adrienne Mayor

Rob said...

You're welcome, Adrienne. I had a feeling Turok would come up in this discussion. ;-)

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Geez, if everyone will pardon writerfella for a few moments while he goes over in a corner and just smiles...
Thank you, Adrienne Mayor. You just made my day.
All Best
Russ Bates

Adrienne Mayor said...

Honored to make you and Rob's [virtual] acquaintance!