In Harmony with Nature Notes

In Harmony with Nature Notes

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Native American Traditions:  In Harmony With Nature:


·       The first American literature was created by the first people to live here -- the Native Americans, who inhabited North America tens of thousand of years before the first Europeans arrived.



·       They belonged to more than three hundred distinct groups who spoke more than 200 different languages.


·       They called themselves names such as Anishinabe, Dine', and Lakota -- each of which means "the people."



·       Their ways of life differed greatly.  They had complex religious beliefs, sophisticated political systems, and strong social values, all reflected in their literatures.


·       Native American literatures were primarily oral, passed down from generation to generation by storytelling and performances.



·       Widespread types of Native American oral literature are

o   creation myth, which explain the beginning of the world;

o    tales of heroes and tricksters who transformed the world to its present state;

o   and the ritual songs and chants that are part of ceremonies.


·       Much of the traditional Native American literature emphasizes the importance of living in harmony with the natural world. 

o   Human beings have a kinship with animals, plants, the land, heavenly bodies, and the elements. 

o   Humans do not have dominion over nature; they are part of nature and must act to maintain a right relationship with the world around them.


Ghost Chapter Assignment

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Creation Myth: Prompt, Guidelines, Timeline

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