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Native American Myths

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  • Native American Myths


    As stated in the introduction, the literature of the Native Americans was entirely oral (passed down from one person to another, without recording in print). Most of the literature we will be looking at is informal, but ones that are entirely oral tend to be very informal. The numerous tribes living in America during this time period had not yet created a writing system. The many different tribal groups each developed their own stories about the creation of the world, the appearance of the first people, the place of humans in the universe, and the lives and deeds of heroes. 

    Despite the immense variety of the tribes, certain themes, characters, and stories can be found in many of the cultures. One idea prevalent in most of the myths is that spiritual forces can be sensed in the natural world - including clouds, wind, animals, and plants - that they shape and sustain. In addition, a major theme in Native American mythology is creation, the steps by which the world and everything in it took on their present forms.


    Reading Assignment

    Read the creation myth "The Earth on the Turtle's Back" (attached).  As you read, consider how you would retell the story with an academic persona.  


    Video Retelling of "The Earth on the Turtle's Back"


     Works Cited

    Youtube 10 August 2012
    Proprofs Quizmaker 10 August 2012
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