The subject of this study is not the traditional mythology, folklore, and song of particular tribes, but the literary uses of this material, particularly in the latter half of this century and particularly by Indian writers. It considers such questions as: what is an Indian writer? What are the legitimate literary uses of Indians and their culture? Can an American Indian tradition be defined? What is the relation of writing by Indians to American literature as a whole? Besides several non-Indian writers (Edwin Cole, Frank Hamilton Cushing, Jerome Rothenberg) the book deals with several representative Indian writers (Lance Henson, Maurice Kenny, Peter Blue Cloud, James Welch) and also cites Paula Duane Niatum, Simon Ortiz and Wendy Rose.