Conclusion: Mythologies

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:
Conclusion: Mythologies

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This chapter defines mythologies as a collection of texts, organized by one person, stating the origins of the things of this earth. Its defense is simple. In the first place, the Pima–Papago mythology intends to be historical, and the problem is to understand how it is so; that is, how it is preoccupied with Pima history and yet makes almost no reference to Pima and white relations. Second, except for a feeling conveyed by the narrative that what happens is happening for the first time, the chapter finds little that seems sacred in the sense of perfect or blessed in the mythology, while there is a good deal which is frightful and earthy. This feeling of origins seems essential, but the chapter calls it magical as sacred, the magic of first times. Thus does the mythology approach not embrace sacredness as a matter of narrative feeling or tone.

Keywords: mythologies; earth; Pima; Papago; origins; magic

Chapter.  1365 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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