Beginnings: Creation Myths of the World
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In introducing this outstanding anthology, Penelope Farmer defines myth as "a curious phenomenon altogether, tough as leather, frafgile as glass. Hardly a story bears logical analysis, cannot be shattered by a blow from a sharp mind; yet the very next minute is whole again." She goes on to discuss the fascinating differences as well as the astonishing likenesses in the ways in which people have tried to explain their world and their experiences from the very beginning of time.
Penelope Farmer has collected over eighty stories and poems from Ireland, Russian, Iceland, India, Central and South America, Australia and Borneo--to name but a few of the countries that are represented. The creation myths are grouped under the headings Earth, Man, Flood, Fire, Death, Food Plants, and The End and the Beginning. The mood of each theme is caught in a powerful woodcut illustration by the distinguished artist, Antonio Frasconi, and in an illuminating short preface.
Out of her lifelong interest in myths, Penelope Farmer, the gifted English writer known for her novels for young people, has gathered a fascinating and unusual collection. This is a book to be treasured by readers from young adulthood on--to be dipped into again and again, at different times and in different moods, to read aloud or to enjoy alone, throughout a lifetime.
and it mounman, whom he named for each tree. the golden Maidere, and then he went away. Seven years passed. Each tree grew seven branches, one branch remained 'How is just as that for each year, but each man he was, showed no increase. 'How can asked God. ?' 'when they have no woman ?' they increase,' said Maidere, 'Then you'd better come down from your golden mountain and make them one,' said God. So Maidere came down from his golden mountain, and started to create
never tasted anything so good.' Botoque could not imagine what this roasted they did not meat could know how be. to cook. Men And had no fire in at first sight those days, so of the tree-trunk burning in a hearth made of stones, he could not imagine what he was ate, seeing. The meat was and delicious however, he ate and when the jaguar offered to adopt him as his son ate and he accepted gladly. Unfortunately the jaguar was not alone in his wife and she did not like
overwhelmed by their malevolence. Then they were gone. Gone in search of their next victim - and She sank to the ground, the next and the next unendingly, until suffering that herself the gift of the gods to that other gift. first all men were visited She who men, was the with the all things and first to feel the pain of was Zeus' revenge. Pandora, giver of in releasing the evils long pent brought suffering on mankind. Sickness, pain, up in the jar, strife, war, Death 89
before he saw her he could hear her, raging. 'Upstart,' she shrieked when he came in sight. Marduk called out, 'Leave your monstrous hoards now, that nothing can withstand. ancient mother. Stand up before it, you and I will fight it out alone.' Her tail trembled. But still she launched herself upon him, Marduk threw out his net to entangle her, the warm wind flew from behind him to beat upon her face and when she opened her mouth to engulf him it blew inside and raged within her belly,
crow and Logundi Raja lowered them ocean. He till to they reached the bottom of the gave them another chain in their hands and said, you are ready, pull this and I'll haul you up.' Gichnaraja was sleeping; the cage landed near 'When Kekramal his head. He was Chhatri and the crow came out and woke him up. very angry. he shouted, 'and now you've broken 'I've slept for twelve years,' my sleep. I've had no food all now I'm that time, so going to eat you.' Kekramal Chhatri got