Are myths inherently fictional or not? 

Describe the functions of ancient myths, using examples from two (2) different neolithic cultures, and comment on whether myth is inherently fictional. Using modern examples, discuss ways modern belief systems, secular or religious, function for modern cultures in a similar fashion.

The function of myth is:

  • (For this section discuss the ‘why’ of myths?  Why do cultures have them (all cultures do)?  What purpose does myth have?  Do they teach important cultural lessons to a people?  Do they help identify a ‘specialness’ to a culture?  Do they help explain phenomena that a culture cannot explain?  Are myths useful in bonding a group together?  Feel free to discuss any or all of these concepts in your answer)

Two examples of Neolithic myths are:

  • (For this section please refer to pages 18 to 23 in the textbook.  Remember, I am looking for Neolithic myths here, so not the Greeks or Romans (they are not Neolithic cultures).  Give me some examples here, explain what the myth is.  Here are a few from the chapter that you might want to discuss)
    • The myth of the San people of Zimbabwe (page 18).  Remember to always write these in your own words. Do not simple copy and paste from the  text or any other source
    • The creation myth of the Maidu tribe of California (page 19)
    • The emergence tale of the Pueblo (page 21)
    • The creation story of ancient Japan (page 22)
  • Choose any two of these and describe the myth in some detail.

Are myths inherently fictional or not?

  • (Tell me in this section whether you believe myths are just made up, or if you think they started with some true event and then over time became these legendary stories)

An example of a modern myth is:

  • ( Please go online and search “your state Myths’  For Instance “Utah Myths” or “Texas Myths”…….Pick one and describe it…Please go a little deeper than broken mirrors, the Easter Bunny, Santa Clause or fairy tales.