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
Tell how the world and human beings came to exist
Explain how natural phenomena, such as the stars, moon, and mountains, came to be or why a society has certain beliefs and customs
Some stories contain both creation and origin myths
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
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