The Mythology of South America

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2002-08-22
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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More than any other continent, South America "has preserved the conditions that allow mythology to be freely produced." Dividing the continent into seven carefully mapped regions, John Bierhorst shows how South America's principal myths can be traced from tribe to tribe and how each region hasdeveloped its own unique oral tradition. Generous samples from the stories themselves introduce the female creators of the northern Andes, the male gods of the ancient Incas, and the Brazilian tricksters Sun and Moon. Originally published in 1988, Bierhorst has updated the text to reflect theabundance of new information that has become available since the mid 80s and written a new Afterword in which he emphasizes the durability of Indian mythology. Illustrations of native artwork and chapters devoted to special topics--including the connections between myths and politics--help toprovide a well-rounded overview of this fascinating and little-known lore. Detailed maps show tribal locations and the distribution of key stories and samples of differing narrative styles add enrichment, as some of the world's purest and most powerful myths are made more accessible--and more meaningful--than ever before.

Author Biography

John Bierhorst is the author, editor, or translator of more than thirty books on Native American lore--eight of which have been named Notable Books by the American Library Association.

Table of Contents

A Note on Pronunciationp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Greater Brazil
Culture Heroes and Their Deedsp. 25
Men Versus Womenp. 41
Creators and Saviorsp. 53
The Other Worldp. 65
This World and its Beginningsp. 79
Brazilian Highlands
The Art of Mythp. 93
Myth and Societyp. 105
Gran Chaco
Tricksters of the Chacop. 119
Dangerous womenp. 127
Cataclysmsp. 138
Far South
Providers and Deliverersp. 151
Men's Liberationp. 161
Mothers and their Childrenp. 173
When Myths Diep. 188
Central Andes
Highland Godsp. 199
In the Montanap. 212
Myth and Archaeologyp. 220
From Myth to Politicsp. 233
Afterwordp. 243
Notes on Sourcesp. 251
Referencesp. 264
Indexp. 275
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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