and edited by Ruth-Inge Heinze, PhD
In The Bear Knife And Other American Indian Tales, Ruth-Inge
Heinze offers a collection of forty-eight stories told around the fire.
All but eight of the tales are of American Indian origin. Beautifully
and richly illustrated by Scott Fray, this book invites us to contemplate
the origin of the world, the first fire, the origin of corn, the deeds
of brave men and women, and the nature of our relationships. There are
ghost stories and fables and stories, which speak about human weakness
and the redeeming humor to which we resort when faced with difficult situations.
Some stories are elaborate and still reflect the personality and humor
of the storyteller, others are brief and leave room for future storytellers
to rise to the occasion. These stories are seeds sown that they might
grow and nourish us—and compel us to "Keep the fire burning!"
This magnificent collection of Native American tales serves to enable the reader to raise their own stories to mythic dimensions. As we read this remarkable book, we find ourselves again gathered around a flickering fire, surrounded by the darkness of the night, and listening once more to the Old Ones tell of that which never was, but is always happening. Thus, we become re-sourced, connected again to meaning, to pattern, and to one another. Ruth-Inge Heinze has compiled a collection of wonders and wonderful too, are the evocative illustrations by Scott Fray.
Jean Houston, PhD
This is both a unique and delightful collection of North American Indian tales with many of them being published here for the first time. The uniqueness of the book stems from the fact that it includes contributors who are not of American Indian descent per se, but whose lives have been deeply moved by Indian spirituality. I know of no other book that has done this.
The stories cover a wide spectrum of human experiences. For the scholar, there are new materials on American Indian mythology, while for the general reader there are many hours of delightful entertainment. The stories themselves are timeless, and the wisdom and lessons they contain easily transcend cultural boundaries to enrich our own sense of place and purpose within the creation.
I am sure it was Ruth-Inge Heinze's intention to compile a book whose content has meaning to our everyday life. She has done this with great success, and every reader will come away with a but more savvy about the world in which we exist.
William S. Lyon, PhD
ABOUT THE EDITOR AND ILLUSTRATOR
Ruth-Inge Heinze, PhD, editor and compiler, has been active in the field of comparative religion and psychological anthropology for more than 30 years. She has conducted field work in Asia, Europe and the United States where she lived and worked with shamans from a wide range of different ethnic groups in the framework of different religions. Since 1974, she has been Research Associate at the Center for Southeast Asia Studies, University of California, Berkeley.
Scott Fray, illustrator, studied illustration at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. His additional studies in transpersonal psychology under Dr. Jean Houston led him to Egypt, where he first became acquainted with Dr. Heinze and this project. Subsequent adventures to the Yucatan held more opportunities for illustrator and author to further develop what has culminated in this book.