By Evelyn Wolfson
Lengthy prior to they have been written down, American Indian myths have been saved alive via a robust oral culture. have you puzzled how the realm used to be made? MYTHOLOGY OF the yank INDIANS discusses this secret, in addition to different myths and legends from varied tradition components all through North the US. each one bankruptcy is through a query and solution part which covers characters, subject matters, and logos. knowledgeable statement part complements the myths with reviews by way of famous students. This ebook is built from AMERICAN INDIAN MYTHOLOGY to permit republication of the unique textual content into e-book, paperback, and exchange variants.
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Extra info for American Indian Mythology
The tortoise was the sacred animal of the north-winter, a hibernal animal capable of seemingly occult death and rebirth, while the milfoil was regarded as a sacred plant bearing three hundred stems every thousand years and 5 connected with the virtue of roundness or perfection. The I Ching, or The Book of Changes has sixty-four possible combinations of trigrams. The book lists the meaning of each combination, which the individual must interpret in order to decide what to do. Professor Chen explains the role of man: According to the Book of Changes man is in a position to intervene in the course of events considerably beyond his own sphere.
Therefore, every spring, the rivers continued to burst their banks, drown innocent people, and destroy property. Furthermore, the emperor was pleased that Yu had asked for the magic earth, rather than attempt to steal it. At last, the emperor said to Yu, “Pile the magic dirt on the back of this tortoise and go forth to control the floodwaters. ” Yu was curious about the size and shape of the earth. Therefore, before leaving the emperor’s court, he dispatched one of the lesser court gods to measure the country north/south and another god to measure the country east/west.
Q: How was the gift of music different from the gifts of fire, food, and weapons? A: The gift of music spoke to a person’s soul and emotional well-being. Music went beyond the basic needs for survival, such as food, fire, and shelter. It uplifted the people’s spirit and encouraged them to keep a “literary” history or oral tradition. 40 EXPERT COMMENTARY The tortoise and yarrow have symbolic meaning in the story. In his work on cyclic world myths, professor Robert Shanmu Chen of the University of British Columbia writes: Divination of the Pa Kua [eight-sided octagon] was accomplished through the use of the tortoise-shell and the arrangement of stalks of milfoil [also known as yarrow].
American Indian Mythology by Evelyn Wolfson