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Native American Mythology
Transcript of Native American Mythology
Native Americans told stories in order to answer questions about the origins of the world
These myths comfort people when they are afraid and give them a sense of cultural identity
Most myths contain archetypes
Archetypes are old, imaginative patterns that have appeared in literature throughout the ages
Archetypes and Mythology
The Sky Tree
Aataentsic throws herself through a hole in the sky in order to reach the Sky Tree
Animals on earth hurry to build an island on Turtle's back so that both Sky Tree and Aataentsic can come to rest
The Sky Tree takes root on this new earth
Coyote Finishes his Work
The trickster Coyote created the Indians, and taught them how to live, but also plays tricks on them.
The Great Spirit completes Coyote's work on earth, but warns the Indians that both he and Coyote will return one day
The Earth Only
By highlighting the impermanence of humans on earth, this poem celebrates the permanence of the natural world - and the wisdom of those who recognize that truth
Archetypes can be plot or character based
The Sky Tree
Carried down by oral tradition
Passed down from generation to generation
Contain familiar archetypes that people would recognize and be able to relate to
Archetypal plots are
familiar story-lines that have been repeated over
-Selling soul to the Devil
-Damsel in distress rescued by "prince charming"
Important things to know about mythology for the exam!
-Be able to identify and define Archetype
-Purpose of mythology
-Importance of nature to Native Americans
Native American oral traditions
Focus on natural world - man's presence on earth is temporary
Contain powerful metaphors - words have special powers!
To review, visit pages 20-26 (Encounters and Foundations - Showbie)