Native American Oral Traditions

1. Essential Question: What is the Function of Myth

The Function of myth is...

To explain creation of the world or humanity

To explain natural phenomena

To teach a moral lesson

To record historical events

To give a kind of verbal culture lesson

To give description of landmarks to look for on a journey

Uses personification of animals and exaggeration

To set models for people’s behavior

Essential Question: What are the Types of Myths?

Essential Question: What is Oral Tradition?

 Oral tradition began approximately 40,000 years ago

 Each culture developed its own stories and mythology-each had a unique culture and heritage

 Each had its own oral literature

• Stories passed down from one generation to the next in households and in tribal ceremonies

• Stories embodied the tribe’s past and told of its close relationship with the natural world

No single author – created by an entire people

Essential Question: What is an Archetype?

A symbol, story pattern, or character type that is found in the literature of many cultures

Example characters: Hero• Wise man • Trickster

Example symbols • Good and evil • Life and death • Knowledge

Trickster Archetype

Frequently an animal (often associated with a coyote, raven, or a mink) that speaks and displays other human traits, and has two sides to its personality

1. Rebels who defy authority and often cause trouble

2. Clever and creative figures who can unexpectedly reveal wisdom