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Creation Myths. We’ve all got to start somewhere…. What is a myth?. The word itself comes from the Greek "mythos" which originally meant "speech" or "discourse". Sacred Narratives . A more culturally sensitive term for “origin myths” or “creation myths”

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Creation Myths


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    1. Creation Myths We’ve all got to start somewhere…

    2. What is a myth? The word itself comes from the Greek "mythos" which originally meant "speech" or "discourse"

    3. Sacred Narratives • A more culturally sensitive term for “origin myths” or “creation myths” • No culture appreciates their beliefs being called “myths”…

    4. What is a myth? A traditional story explaining how the world and the things in it came to be

    5. Oral tradition • Creation myths originated as oral tradition: stories passed down verbally

    6. Four functions of myth:

    7. 1. To awaken us to the mystery and wonder of creation

    8. 2. To pass down the moral and ethical codesthat support and endorse social customs.

    9. 3. To teach: to guide the people through the trials of living

    10. 4. To explain the workings of the natural world: every corner, every rock, hill, stone, and flower has its place and its meaning.

    11. This means that everything had a meaning and a relationship

    12. The rainstorm and the river are my brothersThe heron and the otter are my friendsAnd we are all connected to each otherIn a circle of a hoop that never ends

    13. Creation myths • Explain how the universe, the earth, and life on earth began.

    14. Types of ways in which the earth was Created: • By emergence • By sacrifice • By secretion • By thought • By word • By cosmic egg • From ancestors • From chaos • From clay • From dismemberment of primordial being

    15. Creation by Emergence • Mostly Native American. • Involves the emergence of the people from an underworld. • Underworld is typically seen as a “world womb” where all things are gestated until birth.

    16. Creation by Sacrifice • Creation through the sacrifice of a god. • Often dealt with as renewal through sacrifice as well. • Jesus, Osiris, Attis, and Dionysus all have stories of this type of myth. • Related heavily to Creation by Dismemberment.

    17. Creation by Secretion (eww) • Just what it sounds like…creation via bodily fluids. (Gross!) • Very focused on the ‘divinity’ of life fluids. • Creator’s bodily fluids: feces, urine, sweat, spit and blood are all used in the creation of the world. • Typically a solitary male god figure. • Bantu, Boshongo, Chuckchee, Egyptian

    18. Creation by Thought • Creation is a projection of the creator’s thoughts. • This theory is hinted at in aboriginal dreaming creation. • Powerful supreme being preexists existence, world contained in the Mind of God. • Buddhist, Laguna, Navajo, Winnebago

    19. Creation by Word • The Supreme Being speaks the Word and connects Logos or Cosmic Order. • “And God said…” • Hebrew, Christian, Mayan, Navajo

    20. Cosmic Egg • Pre-creation void is a giant egg. • Eggs are symbolic of the beginning of life. • Logical connection between visible birth (hatching eggs) and universe creation. • Cosmic egg is typically silver or gold, like the sun or moon. • Chinese, Finnish, Indian, Japanese

    21. Creation from Ancestors • This belief is that a prior people created the universe. • Australian aborigines believed that their ancestors dreamed the world into existence.

    22. Creation from Chaos • “Out of Chaos…” • Chaos is the Greek word for primal void. • Chaos is often seen as a swirling mass of nothingness, out of which the Creator(s) craft the universe. • Greek, Babylonian, Japanese, etc.

    23. Creation from Clay • Man created from clay, the ultimate symbol of the Earth. • Being created from earth (clay) exists across many different cultures. • Some theorize this is due malleability and see an easy creation concept. • Blackfoot, Hebrew, Dyak, Egyptian,Polynesian.

    24. Creation by Dismemberment • These myths involve the cosmos being created by cutting up a pre-creation monster. • Babylonian, Indian, Big Veda, Norse.

    25. Essentials of Creation Myths

    26. Creation Myths… • SHOW WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO THE TRIBE! (corn, animals, rituals, etc.) • State the place and people of origin 3. Describe what existed before the “creation” 4. EXPLAIN the “creation” of things or the beginnings of rituals 5. EXPLAIN who or what did the creating

    27. Sound Familiar?

    28. Your Culture’s Creation Myth • Establish the state of existence pre-creation. • Establish your Creator(s). Define them well. • What type of Creation myth are you going to create. • Establish your cast of characters. • Tell your story.