Unit One: Beginnings and The New World
Native American Creation Myth
Now that you have read and listened to several types of myths, create your own account of how the world and some type of phenomenon came to be. You might explore your own creation through the use of a particular aspect of nature, or you might develop an animal character who tries to trick others in your story.
Begin work on this at home, and please ask me for clarification if you have any questions or concerns. Be sure to type it and follow MLA format. You will be asked to read this aloud to the class since myths were an important part of the Native
American oral tradition.
Focus on the following items of importance to ensure your myth’s authenticity:
Significance of the Earth—According to N. Scott Momaday (“The Way to Rainy
Mountain”), the Native American is “deeply invested in the earth, committed to it both in his consciousness and his instinct. In him, the sense of place is paramount. Only in reference to the earth can he persist in his true identity.” o
Importance of nature—Creation myths explain how we came to be, so nature plays an important role in Native American myths. They valued and revered nature in its many forms. o o
Role of animals—Animals play important parts in each story we read in class.
Often they give advice, help humans learn lessons, or personify ideas like courage and determination. (Think of the muskrat!)
Explanation of phenomenon—Native Americans used the world around them to help explain occurrences (why crickets chirp, the source of lightening, why the wind blows, etc.). o
Placement of a trickster—Many Native American myths feature trickster-like figures who try to fool humans into believing stories. Have fun with this one!
This 50-point test grade will be due in class on August 16, 2013
Utilize the five focus items listed above
Type the paper and adhere to MLA format
Read this to the class
Grammar, Usage and Mechanics
= 25 points
= 10 points
= 10 points
= 5 points