The Cheyenne Indians: Their History and Their Ways of Life is a classic ethnography, originally published in 1928, that grew out of George Bird Grinnell's long acquaintance with the Cheyennes. In Volume I he wrote about the tribe's early history and migrations, customs, domestic life, social organization, hunting, amusements, and government. Volume II looks at its warmaking and warrior societies, healing practices and responses to European diseases, religious beliefs and rituals, and legends and prophecies surrounding the culture hero Sweet Medicine. Included are appendixes on early Cheyenne village sites, the formation of the Quilling Society, and notes on Cheyenne songs.
George Bird Grinnell was a zoologist by training and an anthropologist by inclination. He accompanied Custer's Black Hills expedition as a naturalist in 1874 and from that time until his death in 1938 was closely associated with the Cheyennes and other Plains tribes. Other books by Grinnell available in Bison Book editions are Blackfoot Lodge Tales, Pawnee Hero Stories and Folk-Tales, By Cheyenne Campfires, and The Punishment of the Stingy and Other Indian Stories.
"The value of such a work as Mr. Grinnell has produced can hardly be overstated."—New York Times
"Grinnell was an entertaining and able writer . . . in this case he was also a scientific reporter of ways of life that he supposed would soon be forever lost."—Westerners Brand Book
"A marvelous source book for customs, lore, history, personalities, and manner of speech of this tribe."—Roundup
"Drawing upon the thoughts and actions of individual Cheyennes, Grinnell manages to reconstruct a highly readable account of their culture."—Journal of the American Academy of Religion