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Essay / Research Paper Abstract
11 pages in length. A comprehensive overview of themes in Native Indian mythology. Examined are various mythological objects, the value of dreams, and more. It is emphasized that different tribes each had their own brand of myth -- Analyzed in specific detail are the myths of the Aztecs who, in their stories, formulated an entire structure for their universe. Their myths and the key characters featured in them are explicated. Bibliography lists 9 sources.
11 pages (~225 words per page)
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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:
Much like one theme of the contemporary "Star Wars" story, the Indians believed that some mystical "force" was all around them. For most tribes, this force dictated their
environment and controlled their system of beliefs. For the most part, Native Indian myths shared themes of universal harmony; everything in the world was personified
to some extent and given character. Legends sought to explain every detail of the environment from the grass to the trees to the clouds in the sky. An
elaborate story would be created to describe why bears were of a certain color or why men had hair. To the Native Indians, there was a creative reason for
everything. Today, some non-Natives enjoy making up their own myths in the traditional Indian style. For example, one might choose to fictionalize a story about
why a certain bird chirps. In a traditional Native theme, they would then describe something to the effect of a time when some anecdotal and mystical thing occurred causing
the bird to be endowed with the ability to chirp forever. The amount of Indian myths that I came across in this tradition is absolutely enormous. One source
cites that as many as several hundred thousand must exist collectively (Gill & Sullivan, 1992). Each myth that I came across was generally short (no more than a
page or two in length), concise, and very nature-conscious; treating the animals, the environment and every element of the world as though they were on the same level as people.
But still, one of the greatest problems in discussing Native American Indian mythology is the marked disparity that exists between the various types of Indians themselves.