During this exceptional remodeling of Lewis Spence's seminal Myths and Legends of the North American Indians, Jon E. Lewis places the paintings in context with an intensive new introductory essay and extra statement through the e-book at the historical past of local americans, their language and way of life, tradition and religion/mythology. He contains examples of myths from tribes passed over via Spence, a advisor to tribes and their myths by way of area, a simple Lakota (Sioux) word list, publications to key pronunciations and a bibliography.
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Extra info for A Brief Guide to Native American Myths and Legends
13 then it must be conceded, as a basic principle of our natural his tory of the gods and heroes, that whenever a myth has been taken literally its sense has been perverted; but also, reciprocally, that whenever it has been dismissed as a mere priestly fraud or sign of inferior intelligence, truth has slipped out the other door. And so what, then, is the sense that we arc to seek, if it be neither here nor there? 28 PRIMITIVE MYTHOLOGY Kant, in his Prolegomena to Every Future System of Metaphysics, states very carefully that all our thinking about final things can be only by way of analogy.
This important fact may help to clarify the main lines of the problem announced in Bastian's contrast of elementary with ethnic ideas. The elementary, or innate, ideas we must interpret, I believe, as a reference, in nineteenth-century terms, to what now would be called the innate neurological structures (CEMs and IRMs) of the biological species Homo sapiens: those inherited structures in the central nervous system that constitute the elementary foundations of all human experience and reaction.
And of such imprints, suffering it self—the raw material of tragedy—is surely the most general, since it is, in a preliminary sense at least, the sum and effect of all. Moreover, tragedy—the Greek tragedy—was a poetic inflection of mythology, the tragic catharsis of emotion through pity and terror of which Aristotle wrote being precisely the counterpart, psychologically, of the purgation of spirit (κάθαρσις) effected by a rite. Like the rite, tragedy transmutes suffering into rapture by altering the focus of the mind.
A Brief Guide to Native American Myths and Legends