The Mythology of South America

The Mythology of South America

by John Bierhorst
     
 

More than any other continent, South America "has preserved the conditions that allow mythology to be freely produced." Dividing the continent into seven carefully mapped regions, John Bierhorst shows how South America's principal myths can be traced from tribe to tribe and how each region has developed its own unique oral tradition. Generous samples from

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Overview

More than any other continent, South America "has preserved the conditions that allow mythology to be freely produced." Dividing the continent into seven carefully mapped regions, John Bierhorst shows how South America's principal myths can be traced from tribe to tribe and how each region has developed its own unique oral tradition. Generous samples from the stories themselves introduce the female creators of the northern Andes, the male gods of the ancient Incas, and the Brazilian tricksters Sun and Moon. Originally published in 1988, Bierhorst has updated the text to reflect the abundance of new information that has become available since the mid 80s and written a new Afterward in which he emphasizes the durability of Indian mythology. Illustrations of native artwork and chapters devoted to special topics—including the connections between myths and politics—help to provide a well-rounded overview of this fascinating and little-known lore. Detailed maps show tribal locations and the distribution of key stories and samples of differing narrative styles add enrichment, as some of the world's purest and most powerful myths are made more accessible—and more meaningful—than ever before.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195146257
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/01/1902
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
924,396
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.13(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

A Note on Pronunciation
Introduction1
Pt. 1Greater Brazil
ICulture Heroes and Their Deeds25
IIMen Versus Women41
IIICreators and Saviors53
Pt. 2Guiana
IVThe Other World65
VThis World and Its Beginnings79
Pt. 3Brazilian Highlands
VIThe Art of Myth93
VIIMyth and Society105
Pt. 4Gran Chaco
VIIITricksters of the Chaco119
IXDangerous Women127
XCataclysms138
Pt. 5Far South
XIProviders and Deliverers151
XIIMen's Liberation161
Pt. 6Northwest
XIIIMothers and Their Children173
XIVWhen Myths Die188
Pt. 7Central Andes
XVHighland Gods199
XVIIn the Montana212
XVIIMyth and Archaeology220
XVIIIFrom Myth to Politics233
Afterword243
Notes on Sources251
References264
Index275

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