American, African, and Old European Mythologies

Overview

Mythologies offers illuminating examples of the workings of myth in the structure of societies past and present—how we create, use, and are guided by systems of myth to answer fundamental questions about ourselves and our world.

Almost all of Mythologies, originally published as a two-volume cloth set, is now available in four paperback volumes. These volumes reproduce the articles, introductory essays, and illustrations as they appeared in the...

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Overview

Mythologies offers illuminating examples of the workings of myth in the structure of societies past and present—how we create, use, and are guided by systems of myth to answer fundamental questions about ourselves and our world.

Almost all of Mythologies, originally published as a two-volume cloth set, is now available in four paperback volumes. These volumes reproduce the articles, introductory essays, and illustrations as they appeared in the full Mythologies set, and each includes a new Preface by Wendy Doniger.

This volume gathers eighty articles on mythologies from around the world. A section on the Americas and the South Pacific covers myths of native Americans, from the Inuit to the Mesoamericans, about such topics as the cosmos, fire, and the creation of the world. Essays on African mythology range from the 266 basic signs of West Africa to themes such as twins, the placenta, and masks. The final section, covering Celtic, Norse, and Slavic traditions opens with an overview of the Indo-Europeans and concludes with an essay on the religion and myths of Armenia.

Here are 80 articles on mythologies from around the world, including Native Americans, African, Celtic, Norse, and Slavic, and about such topics as fire, the cosmos, and creation. Also includes an overview of the Indo-Europeans and an essay on the religions and myths of Armenia. Illustrations.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Yves Bonnefoy is a poet, critic and professor emeritus of comparative poetics at the Collège de France. In addition to poetry and literary criticism, he has published numerous works of art history and translated into French several of Shakespeare’s plays.

Wendy Doniger is the Mircea Eliade Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School and a professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. She is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, The Woman Who Pretended to Be Who She Was.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition, by Wendy Doniger
Preface to the English Edition of the Complete Work, by Wendy Doniger
Preface to the French Edition of the Complete Work, by Yves Bonnefoy
Contributors
Part 1 - Introduction: The Interpretation of Mythology
Toward a Definition of Myth
The Interpretation of Myths: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Theories
Myth and Writing: the Mythographers
Prehistoric Religion
"Nomadic Thought" and Religious Action
Part 2 - The Americas and the South Pacific
The Mythology of the Inuit of the Central Arctic
Native American Myths and Rituals of North America
The Creation of the World in Native American Mythology
The Sun Dance among the Native Americans: The Revival of 1973
Mesoamerican Religion
Mesoamerican Mythic and Ritual Order
Mesoamerican Creation Myths
Mesoamerican Religious Conceptions of Space and Time
The Sky: Sun, Moon, Stars, and Meteorological Phenomena in Mesoamerican Religions
The Earth in Mesoamerican Religions
Fire in Mesoamerican Mythology
The Mesoamerican Image of the Human Person
Cosmic Disorder, Illness, Death, and Magic in Mesoamerican Traditions
Myths and Rituals of the South American Indians
Indians of the South American Forest
Religions and Cults of the Societies of the Andes
Religious Thought and Prophetism among the Tupi-Guarani Indians of South America: The Land Without Evil
Religions and Mythologies of Oceania
Papua New Guinea
Part 3 - Africa
Forms of the Symbolic Function in the Art and Myth of Sub-Saharan Africa
The Mythology of the Mande and the Choice of the Dogon as a Subject of Study
Graphic Signs and the Seed of Knowledge: The 266 Basic Signs in West Africa
Twins, a Dominant Theme in West African Mythologies
The Placenta in West African Myths and Rituals
West African Myths of Circumcision
West African Myths of Circumcision
West African Myths of Blacksmiths
Myths and Practices of Sacrifice among the Dogon
Masks in West African Traditional Societies
Astronomy and Calendars in West Africa
Totemism and the Institution of the Binu among the Dogon
Yoruba Myths and Religion, and Their Afro-American Extensions
The Religion and Myths of Bantu Speakers
Cosmogonies of Bantu-speaking Societies
Twins in Bantu-speaking Societies
Sacred Kinship among the Bantu Speakers of Zaire and Southern Africa
Sacred Kinship among the Bantu Speakers of the Great Lakes Region
Myths of Cosmic and Social Harmony among the Dinka, Anuak, and Shilluk
The Mythology of the Kabyles of the Maghreb
Part 4 - Celts, Norse, Slavs, Caucasians, and Their Neighbors
The Indo-Europeans
The Myths and Narratives of the Celts of the Islands
The Religion and Myths of the Continental Celts of Gaul
The Religions of the Continental Celts of Spain, Great Britain, and the Danube
Druid and Poet: The Irish filidh and the Welsh bardd
Mother Goddesses and Collective Deities in the Celtic and Celto-Roman World
Some Religious Aspects of Celtic Art
Unidentified Figures of Celtic Deities
Gallo-Roman Deities
Celtic Sacred Monsters
The Mythic Origins and Successive Populations of Ireland
Myths of Sovereignty from Wales (the Maginogi)
Arthur and the Arthurian Heroes in Wales
Celtic "Apollos"
Cernunnos, the God with the Horns of a Stag
Cú Chulainn and Conchobar: The Warrior Hero in Irish Mythology
Epona
Esus
Fionn and the Fian
Nehalennia
Ogmios
Ritona
Rosmerta
Sirona
Smertrios
Sucellus, the God with a Hammer
Taranis
Tarvos Trigaranus
Teutates, Toutatis
Elements of the Sacred among the Germanic and Norse Peoples
Sacrifice in Germano-Norse Paganism
The Aesir and the Vanir
Norse Magic
Heimdallr
Loki
Slavic Myths, Rites, and Gods
The Kinship of Slavic and Norse Mythologies: The Problem of Perun-Perkun-Perkunas-Fjörgyn(n)
Baltic Myths and Religious Categories
The Mythology of Albania
The Religion and Myths of the Georgians of the Mountains
The Religion and Myths of the Ossets
The Religion and Myths of Armenia
Index

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