Do not go ahead once a black cat crosses your path. I am sure you must have heard these types of things no matter in which part of the world you live. However, myths have been influencing the lives of people around the world for a very long time. Can you tell me what is the relationship between myth and culture? No worries, because today along with this you will learn how are myths from different cultures connected to one another. I will also be mentioning some myths from different cultures.
1. What is a Myth?
A folklore genre that consists of narratives that are fundamental in society is termed a myth. These myths may include original myths and foundational tales. However, the term mostly complies with the story that is not true. But religious myths are subjected to have a close relationship with the belief system of the people, therefore, calling them untrue might hurt their feelings. (See Why do people believe in superstitions?)
2. What is Culture?
A way of life of a particular group of people can be considered as culture. It can include their beliefs, behaviors, symbols, values, language, social habits, cuisines, music, social forms, and material traits of a social, religious, or racial group. For example, in Christian culture, they wear white at weddings and black at funerals. (See What are Cultural Traits?)
3. What is the Relationship between Myth and Culture?Photo by Дмитрий Хрусталев-Григорьев on Unsplash
These two terms may seem different from one another but more or less they are both comparative to each other. Before moving toward how are myths from different cultures connected to one another, take a look at their relationship from the following points. I will try to brief down the relationship between culture and myth.
- Myths or stories, including both sacred and secular, are the expressions of the people belonging to a culture.
- Mythology and myths are the ways through which the worldwide view of the culture is expressed.
- They are the way a person expresses the place of humankind in nature and the universe.
- They together talk about the limits of the nature and spiritual world.
- Myths in a culture define the workings of the spiritual world and nature.
4. How are Myths from Different Cultures Connected to One Another?
Originally myths were lengthy songs that were usually transmitted orally and after that, they were written. There have been broad descriptions of myths in different cultures around the world. These myths can be about anything, ranging from natural events and going to the rising and downfall of a dynasty. Creation myths, flood myths, and brother myths are some common myths in different cultures around the world that are quite common. (See What is the Meaning of Seeing a Snake in your Path?)
5. What are Creation Myths?
Every society and culture has its own creation myths in which they tell stories about their ancestors and how they were established. In these myths, there is an order to everything.
- Gods are above kings
- Kings are above people
- Humans are above animals
- Animals (predators) are above other animals (prey)
These myths often have separate gods ruling their separate realms. Almost every religion and culture have a creation varying from each other but more often they begin with the time when water or darkness enveloped the entire universe.
Here are some of the most famous creation myths around the world.
- Greek myths
- Babylonians creation myth
- Hebrew creation myths
- Quiche of Americas myth
- Yoruba people of Nigeria’s creation myth
- The Potawatomi Nations of the Great Lake region, North America
- P’an Ku myth from China
Is it not interesting to know about some common myths around the world since you know how are myths from different cultures connected to one another? Must read Odysseus is called to Adventure When He was?
6. What were Flood Myths?Image by Ria Sopala from Pixabay
These myths have also made their place in different cultures, and it is a reminder that the destruction God can destroy us if provoked. In several myths, it has been mentioned that previous floods were caused because early humans disappointed God, and they tend to destroy everything on the earth. After the floods, only a few exceptional people survived from whom the new race of people began. The most famous example will be Noah, who built the ark to survive the flood that destroyed the entire human race.
An example of the flood myth is an ancient Babylonian text named Atrahasis Flood. This myth mentions how gods became angry with the growing human population and sent the flood to destroy but a man named Atrahasis manages to survive. After these, Gods created more gods to control the mortality rate in the Babylonians. (See Are Ghosts Real?)
7. What are the Myths about Brothers or Twins Myths?
There is a special place for myths related to brothers and twins in mythology and cultures. Different cultures have their own myths about twins or two brothers, either they were close to each other or were at odds since the beginning.
One famous example of brother rivalry is Cain and Abel, sons of Adam and Eve. This is one myth that can clear your understanding of how are myths from different cultures connected to one another. According to the Hebrew Bible, Cain was overpowered by jealousy because God accepted the offerings of Abel and not his. As a result, he took Abel to the fields and killed him. He buried Abel in his fields and lied to everyone about his whereabouts. Check out Who is the Strongest God of Destruction?
There is a myth in Rome, where two brothers Remus and Romulus were two brothers who decided to form their own town and fought with each other. Some records say that the fight was about who was powerful, others say that Remus made fun of the half-built wall of Romulus which angered Romulus. Either of the situations led to the death of Remus. Ultimately, Romulus became the founder of Rome.
8. What are Some Myths from Different Cultures?
Up till now, you must have understood how are myths from different cultures connected to one another and that there is no place on this earth where there are no myths. However, not every myth is famous, but there are some myths that are carried down to generations, and here are some of them:
A. Ra from the Egyptian MythologyPhoto by Vlad Hilitanu on Unsplash
According to Egyptian mythology, Ra was the sun god, who emerged from chaos, and later created the world. Ra is also seen as a ruler and the most powerful of all Gods. According to the myth, one day when Ra got tired of his duties, people began questioning his skills and power.
Ra, however, sent his daughter, named the Eye of Ra, on a killing rampage for slaughtering all such doubters. But soon, he pitied humans, and to stop her daughter he made her daughter so drunk that she could not kill any more people. After this, he left the Earth and resided in the sky. I hope you understand with these examples how are myths from different cultures connected to one another. Must see What are Mythological Wolf Creatures?
B. Poseidon from the Greek MythologyImage by intographics from Pixabay
He was the son of Rhea and Kronos and the god of the sea. After the fall of the Titans and the division of the Universe, Poseidon became the ruler of the sea. He is presented to have the Trident, and often he rode on horses, but he was very short-tempered and often caused an earthquake when angry. He was not on good terms with the god of the underworld, Hades. According to mythology, he is the creator of horses and the bringer of earthquakes. (See 15 Most Worshipped Gods in the World)
C. Bean Sidhe of Irish Mythology
It was the fairy spirit who would wail whenever any member of the fairy family was about to die. She was not the bringer of death, but she could see it approaching which is why she informed the members and warned them. According to mythology, she used to escort loved ones safely to the afterlife. In English, you know them by the name Banshees. These examples are interesting to know after learning about how are myths from different cultures connected to one another. (See What does it Mean when You see an Owl at Night?)
D. Izanagi and Izanami in Japanese Mythology
They both are regarded as the creator gods in Shinto, a Japanese religion that started in the 8th century and incorporated worshipping nature spirits and believing in sacred powers. They are considered the creators of the gods of sea, wind, rivers, mountains, and rice. However, while giving birth to the fire, the god Izanami was burned and went into the underworld. According to the myth, Izanagi went into the underworld to search for his wife and found him but could not bring her back as she had eaten the dark food of the underworld. Izanagi waited for her as she said she was going to beg for her return to the gods.
After waiting for a long time, Izanagi lit a torch and went to look for her when he came across her rotting body and fled sealing behind the doors to the underworld. This is when Izanami vowed to kill 1000 people every day and Izanagi promised to create 1500 people to keep the balance between the dead and the living. Check out What does the Confucianism Symbol mean?
E. Marduk from the Mesopotamian Mythology
He is considered the most important Mesopotamian god who led new gods into fighting with old gods after which he became the supreme god. According to mythology after the victory, he created the earth, the sky, and the first human being. He decreed humans to do those works for Gods for which they had no time. In return, gods will take care of humans.
So, today you learned about how are myths from different cultures connected to one another. Along with what is the relationship between myth and culture. Would you like to share some myths from different cultures that you know? (Also read 4 Interesting Black Friday History Myths and Facts)