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The folktales that Alice Fletcher recorded have a long history in Sioux oral literature and are told in many versions. The central figure who appears in three of the tales, whom Fletcher calls Monkey, is recognizable from other versions as Iktomi, a familiar character known to folklorists as a trickster. Although Iktomi is usually translated as Spider, Fletcher's interpreter apparently believed that the Euro-American image of a monkey best captured the essence of Iktomi's personality.

The diary entries in which these folktales appear occasionally identify the tale's narrator and the context within which the tale was told. None of the folktales are titled in Fletcher's diary.

 

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