Stern, Theodore. Some sources of variability in Klamath mythology

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: Some sources of variability in Klamath mythology

Published in: Journal of American folklore

Published By: Journal of American folklore Boston ; New York: Published for the American Folk-lore Society by Houghton, Mifflin, and Co., 1956. 1-12, 135-146, 377-386 p.

By line: by Theodore Stern

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 1998. Computer File

Culture: Klamath (NR10)

Subjects: Personality traits (157); Sociocultural trends (178); Literature (538); Mythology (773); Spirits and gods (776); Sexuality (831);

Abstract: This three-part article is an examination of the principal sources of variability in the elements, episodes, plots and characters of Klamath myths. The author compares the myths recorded by the linguist, Albert S. Gatschet in 1877, with those he himself recorded in the 1950s and discovers variations among them both within and between the different periods. Traditionally, myths varied by setting: the multiple-family winter lodge where complete epochs were recounted, women work groups where more ribald and personally-spiced mythic episodes were exchanged, and children's bedtime where stories served to inculcate moral standards. Changes due to acculturation have also altered the cultural context in which myths found their meaning. For example, the more obscene and repetitive elements of myths have been dropped. Stern attributes some differences to the stylistic idiosyncracies of narrators based on their differences in sex, age and life experiences. While narrators were held by the audience to certain standards, they were also praised for their personal stylistic embellishments.

Document Number: 11

Document ID: nr10-011

Document Type: Journal Article

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliograhical references

Field Date: 1950-51

Evaluation: Ethnologist-4,5

Analyst: Ian Skoggard ; 1996

Coverage Date: 1877-1951

Coverage Place: Klamath County, Oregon, United States

LCSH: Klamath Indians


Copy and paste a formatted citation or use one of the links below to export the citation to your chosen bibliographic manager.

Export a Citation