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The basis on which these myths were selected necessarily excluded those which showed traces of the white man's religion or of the red man's coarseness. Relatively speaking, only a few myths could be selected. These were the creation myths, the origin of the races, the theft of fire, the salmon, and especially those connected with the physical features of the country, such as those of Takhoma, Shasta, the Columbia River, and the group of mountains of the bridge of the gods…. No claim is made for original work in this volume, except with regard to the selection of the myths and the rewriting of several in which the Indian simplicity and directness had been destroyed by attempted witticisms, by philosophical remarks, or by wordy explanations. A consistent effort has been made to tell these stories as the Indians told them…. Neither is this volume intended to be a very serious or a learned one. It is, however, authentic. All myths for which a responsible authority could not be found have been rejected.
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