Chapter

The Countercheck: Australia, Melanesia, and Sub-Saharan Africa

E. J. Michael Witzel

in The Origins of the World's Mythologies

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780195367461
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199932047 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367461.003.0005
The Countercheck: Australia, Melanesia, and Sub-Saharan Africa

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The Gondwana mythologies of sub-Saharan Africa, New Guinea/Melanesia, and Australia differ substantially from each other and, importantly, especially so from Laurasian mythology. This chapter discusses their characteristics and mutual similarities, correspondences, and differences. The typical story line of Laurasian mythology is absent in the Gondwana mythologies. This is a critical feature: it constitutes a crucial test to indicate that the non-Laurasian mythologies possess the same or a very similar type of story line. It is possible that Laurasian mythology is just one off shoot of an earlier form that was close to the various Gondwana mythologies. By comparing them and Laurasian mythology, we can try to establish their common ancestor, which was prevalent long before the exodus from Africa, in other words, at the time of the “African Eve”: early, global (Pan-Gaean) myth.

Keywords: non-Laurasian mythologies; Gondwana mythologies; Laurasian mythology; Pan-Gaean myth

Chapter.  37169 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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