Heroes, Lumberjack-Giants And Monsters Of American Mythology

Pocahontas saves the life of John Smith in this chromolithograph, credited to the New England Chromo. Lith. Company around (1870). (Public Domain)

Heroes, Lumberjack-Giants And Monsters Of American Mythology

The term ‘American folklore’ encompasses the stories, myths, tall tales, music, proverbs, fairy tales, demons, giants and legends that arrived on the shores of North America with the first Europeans in the 16th century. The characters and events that occur in American folklore emerged in a non-scientific New World as explanations for all the new natural phenomena the settlers observed, that affected their prolonged survival. Therefor within American folklore one finds evidence of the relationship between humans, nature and the perceived spirit world.

People working on the Salem waterfront wharf, Massachusetts, where supernatural thinking spilled into the Salem witch trials of 1692 and 1693 by Balthasar Friedrich Leizelt. (1770-) (Public Domain)

Superstitious Pioneers

The first American pioneers, who crossed the swampy South to settle in the West, showed steely determination as they hunted and gathered in the forests, fished the seas and rivers, fought off bears, mountain lions and wolves and lived in a state of constant insecurity about tomorrow. With no podcasts, Netlfix and YouTube, families spent evenings telling campfire tales, and it was from these flickering orange early-American scenes that the heroes of American frontier folklore emerged.

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Ancient Origins Quotations