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The Anguish of Snails

Native American Folklore in the West

by Barre Toelken

Paperback Price $26.95
Ebook Price $21.95
30-day ebook rental price $5.99

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 Winner of the 2004 Chicago Folklore Prize

"Pure literature, appropriate—crucial—to professional anthropologists and folklorists, a delight for the layman, an epiphany for students. Barre Toelken has written a pure gem that is incredibly readable for anyone at all educated but is loaded with profound content."
—Roger Welsch

"A valuable, nearly indispensable, contribution . . . of very significant use to students and teachers of anthropology, folklore, and Native American studies and to all who have an interest in this fascinating subject . . . strong, original, immensely interesting, well written, and perfectly readable."
—N. Scott Momaday


After a career of working and living with Native Americans and studying their traditions, Barre Toelken has written this sweeping study of Native American folklore in the West. Within a framework of performance theory, cultural worldview, and collaborative research, he examines Native American visual arts, dance, oral tradition (story and song), humor, and patterns of thinking and discovery to demonstrate what can be gleaned from Indian traditions by Natives and non-Natives alike. In the process he considers popular distortions of Indian beliefs, demystifies many traditions by showing how they can be comprehended within their cultural contexts, considers why some aspects of Native American life are not meant to be understood by or shared with outsiders, and emphasizes how much can be learned through sensitivity to and awareness of cultural values. The Anguish of Snails is an essential work for any serious reader of folklore or Native American studies.


The Western Historical Quarterly, 2005 by Peter Iverson

Journal of Folklore Research, 2005 by Kimberly Jenkins Marshall


Barre Toelken was a longtime director of the Utah State University Folklore Program. He also held positions on the Folk Arts Panel for the National Endowment for the Arts, and in the American Folklore Society, Western Folklife Center, and American Folklife Center. He has edited Northwest Folklore, the Journal of American Folklore, and Western Folklore.

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  • Paperback Price: $26.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-87421-556-4
  • Ebook Price: $21.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $5.99
  • EISBN: 978-0-87421-475-8
  • Publication Year: 2003
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: by Barre Toelken
  • ECommerce Code: 978-0-87421-556-4
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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