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English Unit 1 Creation Myths
Terms in this set (30)
symbolic tales of the distant past (often primordial times) that concern cosmogony and cosmology (the origin and nature of the universe)
What might myths connected to?
belief systems or rituals
What may myths serve to?
social actions and cultural values
What do myths often feature?
an immortal being or spiritual element
What is a origin myth?
a traditional story that explains how life began
What do origin myths often explain?
how features of the world were formed or how specific social customs formed
How are origin myths passed from generation from generation?
usually orally (oral tradition)
What are archetypes?
symbols, patterns, or characters that repeat in literature across cultures and therefore, fond throughout the world
What are some examples of character archetypes?
trickster, hero, mysterious guides to help on a journey, outcasts, wise old person, devil figure
What are examples of symbol archetypes?
Water = birth, death, resurrection, creation
Tree = life of the cosmos, growth
Sun = wisdom, enlightenment
Serpent = evil corruption
Wind = life
What do origin myths reveal about
Native American culture?
Native Americans came up with explanations for creation, life, and nature.
Animals are important to creation and give themes.
Summarize The Earth On Turtle's Back (Told by Onondaga)?
The earth was covered with water. Only birds and water animals existed. There was a sky land in which there was a pregnant lady/goddess, her chief husband, and others. There was a giant tree in the sky land that had branches that pointed to the four directions. The wife had a dream that it was uprooted. The couple then agreed they needed to make the dream come true so the chief uprooted the tree. The woman looked down in the hole that was left from the tree and saw something, then fell, with only seeds in her hand. The swans got her and the animals realized she was different and they needed earth for her to survive. They knew that down far in the water lay earth, so one by one animals tried to swim deep enough to reach it. Then the muskrat, a tiny creature spoke up and said she would go get some earth. She swam so deep, she almost died, but she reached the bottom and surfaced with some earth in her hand. They put it on the turtle's back and it grew and grew. The wife that fell placed the seeds down and trees and grass grew.
What two things do the Onondaga value in their culture?
dreams and animals
The Earth On Turtle's Back contains animals as characters. What human characteristics have they revealed through their actions?
determination, wisdom, courage
What are the archetypes in The Earth On Turtle's Back?
Pregnant sky wife/goddess falls on water which represents birth, creation, etc.
Four animals dive in water, four representing the life cycle.
Tree uprooted = creation of the world
Mother Earth figure
Summarize When Grizzlies Walked Upright (Modoc)?
Before the earth was created the chief of the sky spirits was cold up in sky. He decided to use a rock to cut a whole in the sky and then pushed all the ice and snow down in the hole. The pile of ice and snow was so large that it created a big mound known today as Mount Shasta. The chief walked down the mountain/mound with his walking stick and pushed his finger into it. Wherever he placed his fingers, trees would grow. When he stepped, he melted the ice and the water flowed to form rivers. He took pieces of his walking stick and threw them into the river. They turned into beavers, fish, and otters. The leaves he blew in the river became fish. He took the big part of his stick and made the other animals. The biggest was the grizzly bear. They walked on two feet. The chief spirit sent them to live in the forest. Happy with the outcome of earth, the chief brought his family down to live there. the sky spirit chief carved and hole and the mountains became their home. he made a fire in the middle of the mountain. When big logs were placed in it, fire sparked and flew. The wind spirit blew a storm one symbols, patterns, or characters that repeat in literature across cultures and therefore, fond throughout the world and the sky spirit chief told his youngest daughter to go and ask him to blow softer. He told her to be careful and to not stick her head out at the top because this might cause her to blow away. She climbed to the top of the hole carefully then her curious mind got the best off her. She wanted to see what the ocean looked like so she poked her head and looked out the mountain. She got blown out by the wind spirit and was thrown down the outside of the ice and snow mound. She landed among trees and a grizzly found her. He brought her home and she was raised with the grizzly's family. She later married the oldest grizzly bear of the family and they had many children, that looked less hairy then normal grizzly bears but not completely like spirits. The grizzlies were so proud of these children that they made a lodge for them now called Little Mount Shasta. The mother grizzly bear that raised the chief sky spirit's daughter was about to die and thought she should ask for forgiveness from the chief sky spirit. She sent her oldest grandson to the top of the mountain to tell the chief sky spirit where is daughter was. He came down fast and so intensely that his tracks are still visible. He saw his children and got very mad. The grandmother grizzly died and he yelled and made it so that the grizzlies from then on would have to walk on four legs and not talk. He took his daughter back up and sent the grizzlies away. Some say he took his daughter back up into the sky. These grizzlies were the first ancestors of the Native Americans so Native Americans don't kill the grizzles.
What does When Grizzlies Walked Upright explain?
Creation of the Earth, origin of human beings, (Native Americans)
What landmark does it reveal?
Mountains and volcanoes (Mt. Shasta)
What lessons does this story try to teach?
Listen to your parents.
Too much curiosity can be dangerous.
Repent and take responsibility .
What does the myth of the Navajo Origin Legend explain?
The creation of the first men and women and marriage
Who are some of the characters?
gods, animals, and personified aspects of nature
giving human like qualities to non human things
How do the Navajo view the wind?
They view the wind as a person and as a part creator. The wind to them is sacred.
Deer and corn are important to the Navajo. How is this revealed through the story?
Deer is skinned and worn.
A head of an animal is placed for an event.
They put corn on skin.
They involve them in sacred ceremonies
What are some archetypes in the Navajo Origin legend?
Fourth call gods came to create the people
Native American Origin Myth Notes
Characters - gods, animals, personified aspects of nature
Cultural details - references to objects, animals, or practices
The illuminate how people of a culture live, think, and worship
Respect for the natural and spiritual world
The Great Spirit - source of power (all tribes recognize a name for it)
Oral tradition - told with imagery (using descriptive details, relying on the five sense often, so listener/reader can better understand something)
Identify - who am I? How did the earth come to be?
Lessons to be learned-children obiedence
The Tree of Bravery
In "The Iroquois Constitution" they planted this as a symbol of peace
In "The Iroquois Constitution" the leaders must posses all of the characteristics
Being peaceful, Full of good will, Slow to anger, thick skin, heart filled with peace, calmness
In "The Iroquois Constitution" the leaders must open the ceremony by
Thanking their cousins and nature
Many Native American myths show a deep respect for
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