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Cherokee Archetypes Compared To Us Arechtypes.

1136 words - 5 pages

An archetype is a universal human concept. They are in every culture in different forms. Carl Jung believed that because concepts appear in every civilization that had no contact with one another because of geography or history, that these concepts must be a part of all humans from the beginning of their lives. "Archetypes are the inherited part of being human, [they connect] us to our past, beyond our personal experience to a common source."( Skibyak) The Cherokees, a Native American tribe had many legends and myths that explained some of the archetypes in their culture. The archetypes in this paper were: The "Grim Reaper", The Trickster, The Creator, The Hero, and The Earth Mother.Among the Cherokee the most dreaded spirit was the Raven Mocker, much like the Grim Reaper in American society. "The Raven Mocker then eats the heart of the victim. This act will add the number of days or years they have stolen from the victim to the length of their own lives, keeping them refreshed so they can commit more evil." (Nicholson) The Raven Mocker is like the Grim Reaper because they both take peoples lives away. The Grim Reaper uses his scythe to end people's lives, and the Raven Mocker eats people's hearts to keep him alive.The Trickster in Cherokee culture would be the rabbit, as opposed to the devil in American culture. The rabbit was always a trickster and deceiver in Cherokee myths, he was usually spiteful, but was often beaten at his own game by the people he intended to pick on. "Cherokee legends are full of rabbit stories. "The Rabbit goes Duck Hunting," "How the Rabbit Stole the Otter's Coat," "Why the Possum's Tail is Bare," "How the Wildcat Caught the Gobbler," (which includes the Rabbit begging for his life by saying, 'I'm so small, I would make only a mouthful for you, but if you let me go I'll show you where you can get a whole drove of Turkeys.'" (Kirk) The devil also liked to play tricks on people. In the story of Adam and Eve, he convinced Eve to eat the forsaken apple. He had fun deceiving people and causing mischief wherever he went.In all cultures there is a supreme being or beings that created the earth, man, animals, and plants. In Cherokee myths this being's name was The Great One. "Way back long long years ago, the Great One had created the many planets and suns and stars, and he liked what he had made. He would look out on his creation and he began to notice one place which he called Earth. He thought the place was special so he began to put living things on the planet. First, he put plants and then he put animals. Then he thought he needed a being to direct the planet with all the wonderful plants and animals." (Stories of Creation) Because Americans have so many different religions and beliefs, the supreme being would have different names, like God, Allah, or Yahweh.The next archetype is The Hero. In American culture are versions of heroes are Spider-man, Superman, or Batman, comic book heroes put into situations that would never...

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