Lot 136

Indian Why Stories 1st Ed. Linderman, C.M. Russell

Estimate: $400 - $800

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$25 $5
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
Presented in this lot is a Rare First Edition of "Indian Why Stories: Sparks from War Eagle's Lodge-Fire" by Frank B. Linderman, 1915, Special Edition, illustrated by Charles Russell. The book is a renowned collaboration between Linderman and Russell who were good friends. Old-man, or Napa, as he was called by the Blackfeet, is an extraordinary character in Indian stories. Both powerful and fallible, he appears in different guises: god or creator, fool, thief, clown. The world he made is marvelous but filled with mistakes. As a result, tensions between the haves and have-nots explode with cosmic consequences in Indian Why Stories. Elders of the Blackfeet, Cree, and Chippewa (Ojibwa) people shared these wonderful tales with Frank B. Linderman in the late nineteenth century and early years of the twentieth century. War Eagle (the fictional name of Linderman’s friend and Chippewa medicine man Pah-nah-to, or Full-of-dew), tells these stories to attentive youngsters after the first frost in the fall. He speaks of animal people, including a deer and an antelope in a footrace, a dancing fox who convulses a buffalo with laughter, a white beaver and ghost people, a huge snake in love with the moon, a sparrow hawk of conscience, and many others. These sparkling tales reveal a reverence for life, honesty, and the unity of creation. Frank Bird Linderman (1869-1938) was a Montana writer, politician, Native American ally and ethnographer. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he went West as a young man and became enamored of life on the Montana frontier. While working as a trapper for several years, he lived with the Salish and Blackfeet tribes, learning their cultures. He advocated on behalf of the landless Chippewa and Cree in Montana, who struggled to survive. He supported Native Americans as the real Americans, while believing there was a place for Anglo-Americans in the West. Believing that native peoples should be protected, he became an advocate with the government for Chief Rocky Boy and used his network of prominent whites, including other politicians and painter Charles M. Russell, to lobby Congress to set up a reservation for the Chippewa band. Throughout his life, Linderman collected Native American stories. His first book, Indian Why Stories: Sparks from War Eagle's Lodge-fire, was published in 1915 by Charles Scribner's Sons. After moving with his family to a log home on Montana's Flathead Lake in 1917, Linderman focused his attention on writing. He had spent his life gathering stories, and he felt a duty to write them down. He wrote as much in a letter to a friend, "I feel it a duty to, in some way, preserve the old West, especially Montana, in printer's ink, and if I can only accomplish a small part of that, I shall die contented." He wrote six books of Native American legends, an autobiography, a collection of frontier stories, six novels, three animal stories, and a collection of reminiscences about his friend and artist Charles Marion Russell. This red clothbound hardcover is in amazingly good condition, v ery slight scuffing noted to illustrated cover edges. Intact pages are clean, age tanning with very minimal foxing noted, no other obvious marring noted. Measures 5.5"W x 8.25"L x .75"D approximately.