What are the origins of the Universe? What are the origins of humans?
These are questions that human societies have sought...
BIG HISTORY PROJECT / LESSON 1.4
ORIGIN STORIES IN ART
Discuss what each image shows about the beliefs of the people who c...
BIG HISTORY PROJECT / LESSON 1.4
ORIGIN STORIES IN ART
Chinese
Image Credit: An illustration of Pan Gu from the Sancai Tuh...
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Origin Stories In Art

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In many cultures, origin stories predate written language and were passed along in art. What do these images say?

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Origin Stories In Art

  1. 1. What are the origins of the Universe? What are the origins of humans? These are questions that human societies have sought to answer for thousands of years. Different societies answered these questions in different ways, but they were driven by the same thirst for knowledge. The first origin stories were probably created before their written language existed, so they were memorized and passed from generation to gener- ation orally. Another way of representing origin stories was through art. With your group, study the four Origin Stories in Art images. Discuss with your group what each image shows about the beliefs held by the people of the society that created it. Compare and contrast the Judeo-Christian and Mayan images of the Universe’s origins. Compare and contrast the Chinese and Iroquois images of the creation of humans. Your teacher may call on you to share your thinking with the class. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / LESSON 1.4 ORIGIN STORIES IN ART
  2. 2. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / LESSON 1.4 ORIGIN STORIES IN ART Discuss what each image shows about the beliefs of the people who created it. Mayan Image Credit: Creation by Diego Rivera © Christie’s Images / CORBIS Judeo-Christian Image Credit: Detail of God from Creation of Adam, by Michelangelo Buonarroti © Alinari Archives/CORBIS
  3. 3. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / LESSON 1.4 ORIGIN STORIES IN ART Chinese Image Credit: An illustration of Pan Gu from the Sancai Tuhui, public domain Iroquois Image Credit: An illustration of Iroquois Prayer of Thanksgiving © National Geographic Society / CORBIS

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