CARTA: The Role of Myth in Anthropogeny - Firelit Stories: Creating Imaginary Communities with Polly Wiessner

7/17/2023; 21 minutes

Some 350 to 400,000 years ago when our ancestors gained control of fire, the day was extended to provide many hours for social interaction, undisturbed by economic activities. How were those hours spent in societies that only had firelight after nightfall? In most preindustrial societies, music, dance, healing and storytelling fill the darkness. Myths and legends create common understandings on such matters as the origins of humans, social groups, rituals or features of the landscape. Hilarious trickster traditions explore the successes and failures of those who have the pluck to break with social norms. Stories about the adventures of real people add other dimensions, a topic Polly Wiessner addresses here. (#38998)

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