Mr. Jeremiah Curtin's book was his first on the unwritten mental productions of primitive America. It contains twenty long myths taken down word for word by him from Indians who knew no religion nor language save their own, and the chief of whom had not seen a white man until years of maturity. These myths are all of remarkable beauty and exceptional value; among the more noteworthy is "Olelbis," containing an account of the creation of the heavenly house in the Central Blue, the highest point in the sky above us. In this mythis described also the great World Fire which was extinguished by a flood; and next a reconstruction of the face of the earth, which gave the form existing at present.
In addition to their intrinsic beauty, these masterpieces of the primitive human mind in America antedate by many ages the earliest forms of thought represented to us in the records of Egypt and Assyria, hence their value may be easily inferred; they explain to us things which had become unintelligible to the priests of Egypt and Assyria in the religious systems which they themselves taught and studied. The volume contains an elaborate introduction and all necessary notes
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