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Myths - Explaining the Unexplained

Uploaded by bobby blau on May 06, 2002

Myths, according to most of today's society were made up for many different causes. Some of these reasons include entertainment, tradition, legends, and to teach write from wrong. Although that is correct in some cases, myths are primarily used to explain the unexplained. They explain natural phenomena that cannot be explained in other ways and with concrete facts. A long time ago there was no such thing as scientists and technology. Ancient civilization could not give logical reasons for things like night and day, mountains, the ocean, the sky and many other everyday geographical structures. Myths were made up to give people answers for the impossible to answer questions.

One prime example of this is in the myth "The Creation of the Universe and Life". This story is of Yoruban origin. Their people and culture settled just north of the Niger River and have roots that can be traced all the way back to 300 B.C. This myth explains how land was made and how it transformed into what it is today with all the mountains and valleys. Obatala, the favorite of Olorun, who is the ruler of the sky and the most powerful and intelligent god, wants to put something of interest below the sky where all the gods live. Underneath the sky is one big ocean full of marshes. So Obatala wants permission to build solid land. After being granted permission he finds out that he needs a variety of materials. They consist of: a long gold chain that could reach the ocean from the sky, a snail's shell full of sand, a white hen, a black cat and a palm nut in a bag. Obatala gets all of this and begins to climb down the gold chain to reach the bottom; he reaches the end of th e chain but has not yet reached the ocean. The helpless god calls up to Orunmila, his advisor. Orunmila calls down and tells him to dump the sand down then throw the hen. He does so and miracles start to happen. " The hen fluttered down, landed upon the sandy waters, and immediately began to scatter the sand by scratching at it. Wherever the sand fell it formed dry land. The larger piles became hills, while the smaller piles became valleys"(World Mythology 404). As you can see the Yoruban people did not have the technology to realize that natural causes and...

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Uploaded by:   bobby blau

Date:   05/06/2002

Category:   Miscellaneous

Length:   3 pages (754 words)

Views:   3786

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