1 ORIGIN(S) AND CULTURAL DIFFERENCE: EUROPEANS ENCOUNTER NATIVE AMERICANS
Texts to read: 1) ”Talk Concerning the First Beginning“ (Heath 1, pp 26-39) 2) King James Bible: Genesis, Chapters 1-3 http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/ 3) Roger Williams, from A Key into the Language of America (Norton 1,81-89), OR Roger Williams, by Edwin S. Gaustad), pp 46-347 http://books.google.hu/books?id=sjmeBMAiyNMC&pg=PA47&lpg=PA47&dq=roger+w illiams+leaven+mighty+lump&source=bl&ots=1jq2FccOHa&sig=jrNbL1_cMJ_DTzssS3Jp_f1cpw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=02wAVNmNOo3Y4QT_7IHwBw&ved=0CCEQ6 AEwAA#v=onepage&q=roger%20williams%20leaven%20mighty%20lump&f=false
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1. In the “Talk Concerning the First Beginning,” the Zuni emergence myth
explains the origin of the world for the Zuni (like the Bible`s Genesis explains the origin of the world for Christians). a) Read the Zuni myth and the first 3 chapters of Genesis and compare the 2 texts as 2 narratives of origin. First, make note of the similarities, considering commonalities in themes (first people, sin, God/Sun Father, the emergence of law and order, role of families and privileged groups, etc.):
narrative mode (repetitions, characterization or the lack thereof, etc.):
b) Then, make a list of the major discrepancies between the two narratives of origin, highlighting discernable differences between the Zuni/Native American culture and the Judeo-Christian culture. Think about the following:
the lack/presence of an autonomous and supernatural being the relationship between God/Gods and humans the presence/absence of a protoworld (~ Eden) the relationship between humans and non-humans (coyote, spider, owl, water bug, snake, corn, trees, etc.) the presence/absence of the story of fall from grace (~ the fall from the grace of God) and the significance of contract the presence/absence of an evil precondition or harmony or chaos or balance the status of sin in either narrative (Adam-Eve-Snake-Apple vs. Zuni brother and sister committing incest) the description of change (development, evolution, ascendence, degradation, etc)
3. Whereas the Bible exists in canonized (i.e. legitimized forms of) written texts, the Zulu myth is a typical oral narrative transcribed (and, to some degree, truncated) into English. As such, it demonstrates specific peculiarities that might even be experienced as obstacles in the way of enjoying the narrative as “smoothly” flowing. What were your difficulties? Make a list of your anxieties. Most probably they derive from the fact that your way of thinking and feeling is embedded in a different culture.
4. Briefly define the role of the following “characters” and specific “episodes” in the Zuni myth: Mother Earth: Sun God: War Twins: war priests (=bow priests): first Pekwin: coyote: raven: owl: katcinas: water bug: breaking the incest taboo: the first murder:
Contest for Daylight story: yellow corn clan: black corn clan: the sacred number of FOUR (four fetishes, priests, birds, rows, worlds, ladders, etc.): 5. In A Key into the Language of America (1643), Roger Williams, a seeker, who himself was persecuted by Massachusetts Puritans for his radical views, shows an exceptionally tolerant view of the natives he met, and their culture he sought to understand.
Yet his approach to the Narragansett Indians shares some basic similarities with the prevailing (less tolerant) view of his times like that of Stradanus (see below). What are these culture-based biases? Focus, especially, on the following key words and phrases from his book: I present you with a key One candle will light ten thousand Leaven vs. Mighty lump
Check out the context here (Roger Williams, by Edwin S. Gaustad), pp 46-347 http://books.google.hu/books?id=sjmeBMAiyNMC&pg=PA47&lpg=PA47&dq=roger+williams +leaven+mighty+lump&source=bl&ots=1jq2FccOHa&sig=jrNbL1_cMJ_DTzssS3Jp_f1cpw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=02wAVNmNOo3Y4QT_7IHwBw&ved=0CCEQ6AEwA A#v=onepage&q=roger%20williams%20leaven%20mighty%20lump&f=false
6. By Columbus’ time, Native Americans had been living on the American continent for 30,000 years, comprising about 2000 independent tribes with distinct cultures and languages, speaking about 300 to 500 different languages, which belonged to about 50 different language groups. Now, check out the 2010 Census Briefs at http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-10.pdf and give 3 important pieces of information about the American Native population today that struck you or you find interesting. 1)
7. The discovery of the American continent by Europeans was the beginning of a long history of (oftentimes dramatic) cultural encounters.
This engraving entitled America was made by Stradanus (Jan van der Straet), an established artist in the Netherlands, about 1600. Entitled America, the picture renders the man on the left as Amerigo Vespucci. Study the engraving as closely as possible, also trying to figure out all the details in the background. a) What are the assumptions of civilization/culture versus nature in this engraving? Who represents civilization and who represents nature? How?
b) How does this dramatic encounter between female America and male Europe play out in a gendered scene? What are the percievable (hetero)sexual messages that have further repercussions in the mindset that set the conquest of America going?
c) How are the natives of America represented?
8. The Zuni myth of origin demonstrates Zuni exceptionalism, the Zunis regarding themselves unique, indeed, chosen people. Americans, Jews, etc. have also been associated with exceptionalism. How about Hungarian identity politics in this regard? Do Hungarians describe themselves and their traditions as exceptional? (Think about the Holy Crown and Archangel Gabriel or Virgin Mary and King Steven I).
What do you think of these exceptionalisms?
9. Travel agencies often use the word exotic for lands, people, culture, whatnot. Check out the English and Hungarian ad below and think about them. Try to formulate your own take on what exotic means to you. Remember to question yourself how you`d react if you yourself, your family or your values you trust were called exotic by strangers/tourists. http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/virtuoso/dg_exoticlands_201305/ http://utazom.com/utazas/ajanlat/egzotikusutazasok Write a short essay (of 2 pages, double spaced) about your findings. The mini essay is due on November 23, midnight. Send it attached to [email protected]