Folklore | South American Indian Mythology
F638 | 2562 | McDowell


Class meets at 501 N. Park.  The indigenous peoples of South America
are the source of a remarkable mythology; this mythology, in turn,
has stimulated a rich scholarly commentary.  The purpose of this
course is to sample the mythology as well as the commentary, in an
effort to experience the imaginative power of the myths, and to
appreciate a range of scholarly responses to them.  We do a survey of
the major mythological zones of the continent, with special emphasis
on Andes and on the tropical forest lowlands.  We then inspect a
series of connections: to cosmology, to ritual practice, to
historical events, to social and political settings.  Our case study
is the mythic narrative of Colombia’s Sibundoy Valley, where we
attempt to trace the complex process of “the making of a mythology.”