Folklore | South American Indian Myth
F638 | 26743 | McDowell


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.”