Hispanic tales in the Southwest are almost all of European origin, coming first from Spain to Mexico hundreds of years ago, and then north as Spanish colonists settled in what we now call Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California. Readers who are familiar with world folklore will recognize all the tales in this collection. For example, some may know an Ethiopian variant of That Will Teach You from Harold Courlander's Fire On the Mountain.
Many will relate The Day It Snowed Tortillas, which has been something of a signature story for me for over a decade, to a well-known Russian folktale. In both of these other versions, however, the resourceful character is a man rather than a woman. That a woman is the clever one in the Hispanic variants reveals something about the attitude toward women and a great deal about the sense of humor. People the world over tell stories of a humble individual tricking an overbearing person of higher status, but the idea is especially cherished in Hispanic story lore. Making the trickster a woman, who would traditionally be thought of as less powerful than a man, adds spice to the trick.
"A bilingual collection of Southwestern folktales with some tricky women teaching people simple lessons. Humor shines through the fabric of these fables, with bad guys finding that the joke is, invariably, on them." -- BookPaper
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