American Indian Myths And Legends

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Thus, this cultural investigation regarding corn has helped me to better understand that western narratives about corn focus on the values of individualism, namely independence (i.e. the separateness of different beings) and how natural resources can be beneficial to humans. Whereas the examples of American Indian myths and legends are part of an expansive knowledge keeping system that expresses a relational accountability between humans and all other beings. American Indian stories about corn express themes of interconnectedness and interdependence, where each member of a relationship is reliant upon and thankful to the other members for their own survival. Cultural narratives, then, are fundamental in shaping how people perceive their…show more content…
These American Indians were the original peoples of what is now known as New York State, my home state, but many have since been displaced, the result of imperialistic European expansion and colonization. The purpose of Dr. Cornelius’ writing is to provide an example of how to teach students using a thematic approach in a cultural context that is respectful in its cultural representation (Cornelius, 1999, pp. 27-35.). Another text that I read is And Grandma Said (2008), by Mohawk Elder, Tom Porter. And Grandma Said is a compilation of all the Mohawk stories that Tom Porter has told over the years, stories that his own grandmother told to him, stories that she learned from her mother before her, and she from her mother before her and so on. The purpose of Elder Porter’s teachings, he explained, is an attempt to pass on the Mohawk culture, in order to save it from extinction (Porter, 2008, pp. 885-392.). The Porter text helped me to gain an understanding of the Haudenosaunee worldview in general, while the Cornelius text placed corn in a cultural context centered in Haudenosaunee culture, but also inclusive of various American Indian cultures, mainstream U.S. culture, and expanding to other cultures around the globe. There were other challenges in comparing and contrasting western and indigenous knowledge related to how different cultures represent knowledge about corn in very different ways. On the
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