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Key words
Subarctic Athabaskan, Northern Dene, war folklore, heroic folklore, folklore and historic realness
About the Author
Moscow, Russian Federation
Independent researcher

In comparison with other areas of North America, extremely few war conflicts in Central and Western Subarctic are mentioned in the written sources of colonial period. However, numerous war legends have appeared in Subarctic Athabaskan oral narrative folklore. This article is based on the analysis of folklore texts which were recorded by explorers, fur-traders, missionaries, ethnologists and linguists during the period from the late 18th century up to the present days. The article deals with the most common folklore motifs and plots, related to the war, which are found in various folklore genres. A number of folklore texts can be used as a basis for the reconstruction of the Athabaskan war traditions and the war history of the Subarctic area. The Indian oral tradition often proves and complement the rare evidences by the early authors. The author gives attention to the possible causes and ways of mythologizing of historical events. The cycles of war-heroic tales were found in folklore of some Athabaskan groups. In the author’s opinion, the formation of this narrative massive was a cultural reaction to the war expansion of the Cree Indians (Algonquian stock) in the 18th century. This material may be of interest for further research in comparison with the heroic narrative folklore of other ethnic groups. 


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