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Minority Creation Myths: An Approach To Classification

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Chapter Summary

The origin and development of myths is a product of collective ancient wisdom and long-term social activities, and it is also an outcome of human thinking of certain phases of development. This paper discusses and proposes a practical classification of China's minority cultures' creation and origin myths. It analyzes various mythical narrative contents, and explores to what extent creation myth is mainly a narrative about the origin of universe and all the things, and to what extent the myth of human and cultural origins complement it. The chapter uses motif data in order to introduce a classified inventory of minority myths. It explains the nine types of creators, eight types of creation procedures, and five types of creation results. Creation myths, no matter whether they concentrate on Creator or on the process or its result, all consist of several elements, more than once in combination.

Keywords: Chinese minority cultures; creation myths; minority myths



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