ABOUT THIS BOOK
The Western Shoshone people live throughout eastern Nevada and western Utah (Goshute). When Anne Smith visited the region in 1939 there was only one formally designated reservation. Smith and her companion Alden Hayes traveled countless mile of remote road collecting stories, documenting Western Shoshonean tradition, and seeking to determine the outlines of Great Basin culture.
The tales in this volume are set primarily in the "Time when Animals Were People," the legendary past when animals had the power of speech and established human customs though their adventures (and misadventures). Trickster tales figure prominently, with obscenity and blunt delivery common humorous devices. These tale were prized for their educational as well as entertainment value, and storytelling ability was highly respected. Thus, Smith was careful to credit individual storytellers of their versions of favorite Basin tales, avoiding the dryness of generic anthologies.