Each culture has its own story about world’s creation. They have several major similarities, like the basic influence of a strong supernatural force, that intruded to a total chaos and created the land, animals, humans and other parts of the environment. But the set of differences makes each myth almost unique. It happens even with people that shared the same continent like Native Americans. This essay will focus on two tribes – Abenaki and Papago. Their Creation Myths can help to understand people’s relations with nature and each other.
In the Iroquois nation’s creation myth, “The World on the Turtle’s Back,” they highly respect the natural, again, not only because it is all they knew but it is because that is all they had. To better respect nature, they told myths to
Great leaders embody a paradox. They develop strength and wisdom through failure and ignorance. The activist Gandhi recognizes this contradiction, noting that both strength and weakness and wisdom and folly are close companions: “it is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” Gilgamesh proves this truth in The Epic of Gilgamesh, translated by Herbert Mason. In this tale, a godly man, Gilgamesh, develops a friendship with beast-turned-man, Enkidu, who begins to teach Gilgamesh about the world and helps him to grapple with challenges. After one challenge in particular, a battle with the giant Humbaba, Enkidu dies abruptly, leaving Gilgamesh alone again, and forcing him to overcome adversities by himself. Gilgamesh is initially despondent, but these adversities eventually give him the strength to grow in wisdom and appreciation. Gilgamesh flourishes from his failures because he can finally understand the meanings of life and death, accept
The Sumer region was in Mesopotamia, which is now the current Iraq. This area is very famous due to writing which was the cuneiform script on the clay tablets. The systematic record keeping, the plow, which was the agricultural development. Social and economic organization was also a well known factor, followed by, units of time which was the division of a day into 24 hours as well as one hour into 60 minutes. Also, mainly because of the settlement that took place there. This means that the area is closely studied and used as evidence of early culture and in particular, writing and art.
For centuries humankind has been drawn to nature. Ancient civilizations saw nature as divine, the Greek and Roman gods all reflect some aspect of the natural world. Even today, people leave civilization to live in nature. Chris McCandless’s journey, leaving civilization behind, contained within the book Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, reflects this. There are countless television shows, books, songs, poems and art that reflect Earth’s natural appeal. What makes nature so captivating to mankind? Nature offers freedom, beauty, and the allure of the unknown.
Long ago in a far away land in the most ancient of times, there was a ferocious beast that resided in the great cedar forest as its guardian. Humbaba was an ancient, frightful monster with the features of many vicious animals: the head of a fire-breathing dragon, horns of a bull, the legs of a lion, talons of a flesh-eating vulture, a long, powerful tail, and a body covered in poisonous scaled plates. With seven impenetrable auras of mythical power and strength, Humbaba was virtually immortal. Even with the horrifying semblance, the beast was appointed by Enlil, the powerful Sumerian God of wind, to protect the sacred Cedar Forest of the Amanus. Humbaba was granted the Cedar Forest as his territorial domain; the fearful monster would protect
The theme or lesson in Gilgamesh and the Cedar Forest is that if you help someone, or are kind to someone they will help you back in one way or another. Gilgamesh and Enkidu knew about the demon Humbaba who had a roar as loud as a flood, and a mouth like fire. There were many stories about how he protected the forest. The night before they entered the forest both Gilgamesh and Enkidu prayed and made an offering to the sun god Shamash. When they reached the best trees and were about to cut them down the demon Humbaba came. Gilgamesh and Enkidu decided to stay and fight the demon. With the help of Shamash who they had given offerings to and been kind to the day before, they summoned the winds. The winds then took out the demon. Gilgamesh and
Civilization means to develop in society, to grow towards a higher advancement. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, N.K. Sanders, the main character Gilgamesh goes on many journeys with his friend or brother Enkidu. Throughout the book Gilgamesh and Enkidu go through stages, or transitions that change who they are mentally and physically. They both change in the end, but Gilgamesh change is more mentally than physically. Gilgamesh’s transition from the way he acted before Enkidu and after Enkidu, Enkidu’s transition from having more of an animalistic nature to becoming a more civilized being, and
This was my first encounter with the story of Enkidu, as well as “The Epic of Gilgamesh” as a whole. At first, the syntax and language of the text was difficult for me to understand, and I found that I had to read through the story more than once in order to feel as though I had a firm grasp on what was actually happening in the story. However, even in my first read-through, I found some of the passages to be incredibly similar to some of the creation passages of the Bible, with which I am very familiar. Despite the complex language, these similarities provided clarity for me personally as I tried to decipher the text.
Is Enkidu’s life better before or after he leaves animal life and enters the human world? In the story Gilgamesh translated by N. K. Sandars, Gilgamesh is the main character and the king of Uruk. The gods think he is too powerful, so they make is equal and name him Enkidu. The gods let Enkidu loose in the forest, and he lives among the animals for most of his life. He is like a wild beast until a harlot comes along and seduces him. After six days with the harlot, Enkidu realizes he lost his strength. The harlot gets him to join civilization, so he becomes a normal human. He is treated like a royal until Gilgamesh defeats him in battle. After that Gilgamesh and Enkidu become friends and fight in battles together until Enkidu suddenly dies. Gilgamesh does not want the same fate, so he goes looking for eternal life but dies anyway. Enkidu “must die in shame” and not a “man who falls in battle” when he lives in the human world (Gilgamesh 28). Enkidu is better staying in the forest among the animals because he is stronger and at peace with the animals, even though he becomes more intelligent and civilized when he joins the human world.
The Epic of Gilgamesh conveys numerous themes. Among those are the inevitability of death, the eminence of the gods, and strikingly the importance of love as an impetus. Love, defined in a consummate sense is intimacy, passion, and commitment. These traits are exemplified in Gilgamesh and Enkidu's relationship, and they are also implied between Enkidu and Sham hat. Despite the violent and abrasive nature of the happenings of this text, love is displayed blatantly throughout. From Enkidu's introduction to civilization, to the defeat of Humpback, love is the driving force in many salient events.
Creation stories have profound effects on humans. Mesopotamia’s “The Gilgamesh Epic”, Egypt’s “Hymn to the Nile-Documents”, and Mesoamerica’s Mayan and Aztec creation stories demonstrate significant relationships within society, whether that is between humans and nature or humans and the “god(s).”
Cole and Ortega’s The Thinking Past is a book that covers the history of humans and civilization. The authors cover the transition of humans from a hunter-gatherer life into a sedentary life, forming the civilizations we know today. This transition can be witnessed through the character, Enkidu, in The Epic of Gilgamesh. Enkidu—a glorified forager—is created by the gods to keep the King of Uruk, Gilgamesh, in check. Enkidu is forced into civilization after being disowned by nature for sleeping with Shamhat. We see him transformed from a wild beast into a civilized person. As we follow Enkidu’s transformation, we see how he changes for the better, but also experiences some downfalls. The transition was not smooth, it took time to fully adjust, and although there are many disadvantages of leaving the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, the benefits made it worthwhile. Through Enkidu’s exposure to Gilgamesh, he changes from a human that lives among nature, to this great warrior that is willing to kill beasts for no other reason, but glory.
Fate brought loneliness to Gilgamesh when his friend Enkidu died, it brought Oedipus eternal sadness when he changed the path of his life, and it brought Śakuntalā an entirely different path in life when her two friends chose to ignore a guest. In all three of the plays, the
The medium that I chose for my reimagining of Gilgamesh is a poem. The writing process that I undertook was chosen in order to convey my unbridled interpretation of the narrative. Poems are very eloquent in the fact that they are concise and give artistic freedom to the writer, and