Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Masterpiece: Connections

Everything on planet Earth is connected to one another, and although us humans like to separate everything into categories, like subjects, cultures, et cetera, the world does not do this.  For instance, there are many things in Earth's many cultures that are very similar to aspects of other cultures.  I question why these similarities arose, and try to find where they come form.

The Firebird Myths: firebirds are found in many cultures, and are often though to signify the sun, and    rebirth, due to the sun's "birth" and "death" each day.  The sun is also thought to be the basis of all rebirth ideologies and myths, from the Hindi caste system, to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Greek Phoenix 
The Slavic Firebird

The Witches:
Lloyd Alexander's
"The Black Cauldron"
which depicts the three witch
myth in the Celtic regions of Europe.
There is a common myth about witches in groups of three throughout the different indo-european cultures, I wrote about them here.
Shakespeare used this common
mythical form in his play "Macbeth"

A painting of a clock modeled after the
Baba Yaga's house.  This painting was
painted by Viktor Hartmann, and served as the
inspiration for the ninth movement of
Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition
Suite, The Hut on Fowl's Legs (Baba-Yagá).

The Krampus: A christianized tradition.
Thousands of years ago in pre-christian Europe, there was a germanic goddess who is known as the germanic equivalent to Greek Hera.  In northern regions, she was known as Frigg, in central Europe, she was known as Holda, and in the southern, alpine area of the germanic peoples' land, she was known as Perchta.  Perchta had a very important task at the Yuletime celebration- to scare away the evil spirits that roamed Earth in the "darker half" of the year.  The germanic people of the alpine regions would celebrate this in Yule celebrations by doing what Perchta did: dressing as a mutilated goat and scaring the spirits away.  When the christians came and converted the germans to christianity, they forced them to give up their old beliefs, but some lived on- Yule as Christmas, Samhain as All Saints Day, and Perchta traditions as Krampus, St. Nick's companion, and punisher of naughty children.  This also connects to the witches, as Baba Yaga myths first appeared in slavic areas in the alpine regions.  Was the slavic fear of the germanic tradition of perchta what caused the Baba Yaga myths?

Other than Mythology:

There is far more to these cross cultural connections than in just mythology.  Almost every aspect of our culture is mirrored in other cultures, and there are far more connections between the people of earth than just culture, such as mathematical concepts, science, art, and simply how we think.  I feel that it is due to human nature.

One fun example of similarity is the Sandwich! If you think, most cultures have a meat that is wrapped in bread, and they did this without communication: tacos, sandwiches, gyros, falafels, dumplings, and many many more...

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