The Flood

Donald Bahr, Juan Smith, William Smith Allison and Julian Hayden

in The Short, Swift Time of Gods on Earth

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 1994 | ISBN: 9780520084674
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520914568 | DOI:
The Flood

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The flood in this chapter is caused by an abnormality in sexual relations. Worlds or creations were ended because of eating one's own kind, that is, cannibalism, and because of two seemingly more minor abnormalities in aging: the progressively earlier onset of greyness and tobacco smoking. Here the abnormality is the ever-shorter length of pregnancies, that is, of the time period between making love and giving birth. The flood is caused by nothing explicit in the text of Juan Smith and William Allison, but in most other versions is caused by tears of the baby born from the penis. The baby's tears first wet the cheeks, then the whole world, recalling the geographic extent, if not the actual seminal fluid, of the philanderer's wanderings. The gods Siuuhu, Earth Doctor, and Coyote all survive the flood, and do so by means that clearly recall the philanderer's crime.

Keywords: flood; abnormality; sexual relations; cannibalism; aging; tobacco; pregnancies; birth; Juan Smith; William Allison

Chapter.  2403 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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