Lloyd Harnishfeger
Hunters of the Black Swamp
1971

from the dustjacket:

Hunters of the Black Swamp tells the story of a boy's coming of age in the hostile wilderness of prehistoric North America. The young hunter Boy sets out on an expedition with his father, determined to prove his courage and maturity in combat against the fierce animals that prowl the Black Swamp. He scorns his father's wisdom and rejects his advice, but the young man's own recklessness endangers both their lives. Man is severely wounded, and Boy, now responsible for his father's safety, learns the value of caution and of knowledge gained by experience.

When a tribe of mastodon hunters comes to his aid, Boy is astonished at their ability to communicate and cooperate with each other. The strangers live together, sharing the responsibilities of gathering food and defending their community, while his own family lives in isolation on a lonely hilltop. Even now, Woman and Girl, left behind by the two hunters, are alone in their struggle against the wolf-gods, mysterious spirits that threaten Woman in dreams. The mastodon hunters do not acknowledge the existence of such creatures but instead believe in a single powerful spirit who watches over their wan-derings in the wilderness. Impressed by their faith and their way of life, Boy seeks to join the hunters and to extend their protection to his family. When he is given a new name by the clan leader, Boy knows that he has finally become a man.

THE AUTHOR

Lloyd Harnishfeger is an educator whose hobby is the study of life in prehistoric North America. His large personal collection of Indian relics, many of them found in a river valley near his home town, includes artifacts which are more than 4,000 years old. Hunters of the Black Swamp, Mr. Harnishfeger's first published book, reflects his special interest in American prehistory and the special knowledge that he brings to the subject. Mr. Harnishfeger is a junior high school supervisor in the school system of Putnam County, Ohio. He lives in Pandora, Ohio, with his wife and daughter.