Anthropology Test 2

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  1. Oral Tradition
    • Most of our written text is informed by oral traditions
    • characteristics of oral narrative: long and complex, not always told all at once, unconscious alterations as passed down, different versions of same story
    • once written down: become more stable
  2. stories of the supernatural
    • folktale
    • legend
    • myth
  3. folktale
    • characteristics: ritual cannibalism, a divination instrument, resurrection from the dead, underlying moral, nothing sacred/holy
    • meant to entertain
    • fiction
    • independent of time and space
    • ex: snow white
  4. legend
    • characteristics: based on real people, places, or events and considered factual
    • include few if any super natural elements, can be sacred or secular
    • generally human characters
    • take place in present or recent past
    • ex: Atlantis
  5. Urban legend
    story about people and events that never occurred but are presented as real
  6. Myths
    • sacred stories: basis for religious beliefs
    • prescribe rules of proper conduct
    • existence and activity of gods and spirits
    • how to distinguish even from good
    • believed to be relevant in modern life
    • believed to be true by those who tell them
    • in our modern society myths are usually seen as fake but in an anthropological context this is not the case
  7. Three types of Myths
    common themes
    • origin myth
    • apocalyptic myth
    • trickster myth
    • hero myth
    • common elements and themes in human societies because of diffusion or based on a shared nature of human cognition and psychology
  8. origin myths
    • address most basic questions of identity: who are we and what are we?
    • most sacred
    • lay groundwork for related mythology
    • Three types: out of chaos, darkness, or void, birth metaphor, and emergence/our of the earth
  9. apocalyptic myths
    • catastrophic destruction of the world
    • the flood: floods were commonly experienced by ancient peoples.  or because of dreaming while needing to urinate
  10. trickster myths
    • provide an explanation of why things are they way they are or how people should/shouldn't behave
    • gluttons, easily bored, dishonest, impulsive
    • responsible for bringing important elements into the world (like the sun)
    • ex: loki, spider, coyote
    • often transformers
  11. hero myths
    • 3 phases of journey: 
    • departure
    • initiation: training, learn to use supernatural tools from a master
    • return: accomplish a task
    • ex: the Buddha
  12. monomyth
    • a monomyth: all follow same basic story line
    • ex: hero myths
    • 9 key elements:
    • hero
    • remote childhood
    • call to adventure
    • physical transportation out of previous life
    • intro of helper
    • given amulet
    • enters land of enchantment
    • companions
    • faces challenges
    • uses magic to accomplish goals
    • ex: star wars, wizard of ox, happy potter
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Anthropology Test 2
test 2
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