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Native American Traditions

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1 Native American Traditions
In Harmony with Nature Native American Traditions

2 Native Americans 200 distinct groups – 500 distinct languages
Created the first American Literature Oral Tradition - Spoken words handed down from generation to generation in storytelling and performances

3 Native American Literature
Emphasizes the importance of living in harmony with the natural world Human beings have a kinship with animals, plants, the land, heavenly bodies, and the elements The human and the nonhuman are seen as parts of a sacred whole Human beings must maintain a right relationship with the world around them

4 Native American Literature
Creation myths explain how the universe, earth, and life began Hero and trickster tales show how the world transformed to its present state Ritual songs and chants are used as part of Native American ceremonies

5 Iroquois Refers to six separate Native American groups – Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida, Onodaga, Mohawk, and Tuscarora All but the Tuscarora once resided in what is now New York State War with other tribes led to the formation of the “Iroquois League” in 1570 For 200 years, Iroquois dominated other Native American groups and remained free from British and French rule

6 The World on the Turtle’s Back
Iroquois Creation Myth Myth – Traditional story, passed down through generations, that explains why the world is the way that it is. Creation Myth – A myth that explains how the universe, earth and life began

7 Creation Myths Explain the beginnings of the universe, life, and the earth To some extent, are imaginative stories of cause and effect Cause and Effect Relationship - One thing (the cause) directly brings about the other (the effect)

8 Sky Woman (1936) By Ernest Smith

9 The World on the Turtle’s Back
Contains the idea that there is a sky world above our world where supernatural beings exist A story of cause and effect The actions of supernatural beings cause the present features of the world to exist Explains how the land and other physical features were formed

10 Sky Woman (1936) By Ernest Smith

11 The World on the Turtle’s Back
Theme Expresses a Native American ideal of people living in harmony with nature

12 Vocabulary Void (noun) – An empty space
There was a void in my life until I met you. A void in the galaxy puzzled the scientists. The void between the towns was lonely and desolate.

13 Vocabulary Ritual (noun) – A ceremonial act or a series of acts
My ritual on Saturday mornings is to wake, shower, eat breakfast, and watch cartoons. The priest performed the ritual, thus ensuring the man’s salvation.

14 Vocabulary Devious (noun) – shifty; not straightforward
I felt devious when I tricked the child into giving me his candy. The devious man would not tell us where he came from.

15 Vocabulary Contend (verb) – To compete; vie
The football team contended for the trophy. No one will contend with me; they are too scared.

16 Vocabulary Succumb (verb) – to give up or give in; yield
I tried to keep my hopes up, but eventually I succumbed to the loneliness. I predict that Frank will succumb to the other man’s superior skills in the boxing match.

17 Creation Myth Review: explains how the universe, earth, and life began
Creation myths, like all myths, are essentially religious, presenting the cosmic views of the groups that create them Joseph Cambell - American mythology professor, writer, and orator best known for his work in the fields of comparative mythology and comparative religion

18 Cambell’s Four Functions of the Myth
To instill a sense of awe toward the mystery of the universe To explain the workings of the natural world To support and validate social customs To guide people through the trials of living

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