1. told in myths, legends, tales, lyrics 2. 500 different languages and tribal cultures 3. governments could be democracies, councils of elders, theocracies, etc.
1. Compare with Greek and Christian ideas 4. Tricksters may be compared to everyone from Odysseus to Buggs Bunny
1. so called b/c they lived in long houses that held several families 2. Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, and Cayuga -- later the Tuscarora of N. C. 3. Near lakes Ontario and Erie around the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers and southeast of the lakes toward the Hudson River 4. Women owned property and made major social decisions while the men engaged in warfare and hunting 5. It was transcribed and translated by David Cusick (Tuscarora) in the 19th century
1. Does this give him more or less credit as an interpreter? 2. How does this challenge our view of a unified Native American culture? 3. Should this version actually be studied?
1. lived along the Gila and Salt rivers 2. Spanish originally recorded their stories 3. Once run from their lands and adobe homes by the attacks by more aggressive eastern tribes, the Apache were chief among their aggressors.
MYTH VS. LEGEND
Native American Creation Stories vs. Columbus, De Las Casas, and Smith
a myth gives a religious explanation for something
a myth is timeless
a myth may be considered true or not
a myth may provide supernatural characteristics to help explain
myths are often entertaining, instructional, and inspirational
Examples: Zeus and the Greek gods, animism, Shiva, Thor
a legend is a story which is told as if it were a historical event
a legend may or may not be elaborated
a legend will incorporate as much verisimilitude as possible to
maintain its integrity, but it will also employ imaginative touches
Examples: King Arthur, Robin Hood, Helen of Troy, Vlad the Impaler
NativeAmerican Literary Tradition
no written literature
each tribe maintained its own religion
governments were widely varied
only a few generalizations may be made
Reverence for nature as a spiritual as well as a physical mother
Nature is alive and endowed with spiritual forces
Main characters may be animals or plants, often totems associated
with a tribe, group, or individual
Main characters may not all be honorable (tricksters).
“People of the Longhouse”
composed of five nations
lived in the northeast of North America
women played a dominant role in the culture
there are 25 versions of the creation story in the oral tradition
One of the first Iroquois to record the oral literature of his nation in
the alphabetic writing of Western civilization
It has been implied he inserted “missionary interpretations” into his
He may be viewed by many as a dissenter
Main Characters -- the woman who fell from the sky, the twins, the
The good mind creates the sun, the moon, the stars, the land, and
man and woman. He also bestows souls on his twin’s creations.
The bad mind wants to live in chaos in the darkness and creates apes.
The two brothers fight for control of the universe. The good mind
wins and the bad mind has control over the “souls of mankind after
Lived in the Arizona desert
Avoided European interference because of their remote location
Given the name Pima by the Spanish
Extremely peaceable tribe unless provoked
J. W. Lloyd
Edward H. Wood, full-blood Pima
Pan-American fair in Buffalo
Thin Leather, Wood’s grand-uncle
PimaStoriesof theBeginning of the
Juhwertamahkai (the Doctor of the Earth) creates everything (four
Noo-ee, the buzzard, was the first person.
Toehahvs -- the coyote
Seeurhuh/ Ee-ee-toy -- older brother