Early American Literature
American literature begins with the trends of orally conveyed myths, legends, tales, and lyrics of Indian cultures. There was no written literature among the more than 500 different Indian languages and tribal cultures that existed in North America before the first Europeans arrived. As a result, Native American oral literature is quite assorted.
Examples of nearly every oral genre can be found in American Indian literature: lyrics, hymns, myths, fairy tales, humorous anecdotes, incantations, riddles, proverbs, epics, and legendary histories. Accounts of migrations and ancestors are in abu…
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