In the majority of the creation stories, human-beings were created from some sort of material. For example, in the Hesiod and Ovid creation stories, human-beings were created from different types of metal, i.e. golden age, silver age, bronze age, and iron age; in the 6th account of the Prose Edda creation story, human-beings were created from trees; and in the Nü Kwa creation story, human-beings were created from yellow clay, etc.

The reason why I mention all of this is because most people (those living when these creation stories were most prominent) would have worked with and/or been exposed to metal, wood, and clay at some point in their lives (i.e. blacksmith, construction, and pottery). In other words, they should have realized that it was impossible to create living things out of those materials.

So… why were these stories so widely accepted?

According to what we have learned in class (and modern logic), we are not supposed to take these creation stories literally; yet, many people take comfort in having stories that explain the creation of the ‘beginning’. Perhaps the people of ancient civilizations possessed a similar view; for how else could these stories have been passed down for generations?

On another note, it also makes me wonder if people ever tried to make metal, wood, or clay sculptures; hoping that they would come to life. Very farfetched (and kind of Frankensteinish), but you never know! 😉

– A.P


2 thoughts on “Human Sculptures

  1. It is interesting to think about, the idea that on some level they can make such things come to life. and I believe on some level it might be true, especially in Greece I recall that some philosophers believed that everything had a form of a soul. So in a sense living.

  2. I think it might be easiest to see the connection through myths such as the Mesoamerican creation myth Popol Vuh, where humans are made from corn. Corn was a major factor in their everyday lifestyle, in a way corn could be seen as their life source, providing a large food supply. It would not take a large leap from being created from something so nourishing. However it is harder to see how humans could be made from metals. Perhaps if Hesiod or Ovid wrote a couple hundred years earlier, or when metal wasn’t such an important commodity of everyday life, they would have described the races of humans through plants or animals.

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