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Focussing primarily on the African myths The Creation and The Origin of Death illustrated in the textbook a while back, I found it interesting that death was mentioned so significantly. Many of the cultures we’ve studied have focussed on the creation, however not many mention death, as it is usually viewed as something that always has existed on earth, in the accompaniment of creation. 

I’ve also noticed that when death is mentioned in other myths, it is usually in order to demonstrate the dominance of one character, or as a sacrifice committed by a brave warrior. However, in African myth, those that cause the deaths are only viewed as evil. I’m assuming that this reflects the views of the cultures, as Greek and Roman civilization (for example) seem more inclined to murder and death, whereas African culture rely more on support and survival and view those who rob them of this as immoral, not just powerful and/or brave. Any other thoughts?    

 

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One thought on “Conceptions of Death in Myth

  1. I like your observations here. The Greeks and Romans certainly had stories where they killed races (Ages of Man, The Flood) and gods of the Underworld but they never really describe the “origins” of death like the myth you mention. Hades certainly did not create death.
    It could certainly reflect the culture’s outlook on death. I know the Greeks feared death as the Underworld was known as a place no person wanted to spend time in. The Greek motto was live while you can! Perhaps they did not want to write the origin of a place they feared and loathed so much?

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