History should be an accurate account of every significant fact, but a good deal of ancient history of remote antiquity has come down to us from oral tradition. Before the invention of the phonetic alphabet, there was no other feasible way of recording acquired knowledge and historical events which people wished to preserve for future generations. After the science of letters was understood, it was an easy matter to copy these old yarns, but in many instances they had lost most of their original meaning ; each one who repeated them imparted a certain personality and made slight changes. So it can be seen that traditions which have come down orally from dim antiquity to the present time, with never an attempt to analyze or confine to written words, present quite a problem for solution. Of such is the character of the Queres traditions. They are probably no more absurd than those of any of the ancient nations with which we are acquainted; for instance, the Grecian tradition of the Golden 'Fleece, or of Cadmus and the Dragon's Teeth, yet these traditions record two of the greatest scientific and historical facts of ancient times.


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Schat-Chen- History, Traditions and Narratives of the Queres Indians - J M Gunn