Thursday, December 08, 2016

Not recommended: NATIVE AMERICAN STORY BOOK(s) by G.W. Mullins

I've had a couple queries lately, from people asking me about a "Native American Story Book" series by G. W. Mullins.

It is easy to say "not recommended" to the series.

Mullins dedicates Volume Three to his grandfather, Vince Mullins, "a tall red man." Mullins tells us he is Cherokee. Maybe he is, but his use of "tall red man" reflects a romanticized and stereotypical image. In the introduction, Mullins uses, primarily, past tense. His words there, too, suggest a romantic image.  He says, for example,
"I was born Cherokee and as a child heard many of these stories. These stories were passed to me in the old traditional way of my grandfather."
His grandfather may, indeed, have told him some stories, but, the first story in Volume Three is Longfellow's "The Song of Hiawatha." That is not a Native story! Longfellow made it up. Does Mullins know it isn't a Native story?!

As I glance through others in the book, I see that Mullins is including stories from Native writers, like Zitkala Sa--that he took from her books. He's taken others from government reports. The publisher is "Light of the Moon" and the pub year is 2016. There's a note that says the book is:
"... a collection of Native American works which are public domain." 
I looked through a couple of the others, in his series, and find them problematic for many reasons. I do not know why they're popping up right now, but I definitely do not recommend them.

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