P01 (Project 01)_The Value of Myths
The Value of Myths
Overview: Throughout Human history, oral and literary traditions are full of incredible ‘Creation’ or ‘Origin’ stories that help future generations understand how their ‘people’ came to be. If you review AN01a3, you’ll see a list of characteristics that most myths share as well as a list of what they reveal about a people. However, those stories may not pass a reliability test in our modern ‘scientific’ routines. Also, they all share qualities of the fantastic event, supernatural being, etc. that may turn any person into a skeptic. If we remember a phrase attributed to Joseph Campbell, it will reveal the value of myths: “It doesn’t matter if the story actually happened as it’s told. It only matters that the story means something to those who hear it.”
Case Study: The Zylon
It is asserted by some historians that the ancestors of the Zylon migrated to central Aztlan from an area that is near the current Bulgarian – Romanian border. Tradition states that they were called Chichimecs at the time (rough translation: “Dog Eaters”).
When they arrived at Lake Vulcan in the Central Bulgarian Valley, the area was already densely populated. The inhabitants, more numerous and powerful than the new arrivals, forced these peoples to live on a swampy, unpleasant island in the middle of the lake. Not having a choice, they did.
The peoples around the lake did not like the new arrivals because of their rituals and appearance. Some accounts explain that these Zylon ancestors smelled horribly and had a preoccupation with blood-rituals.
The Zylon Empire was one of the fastest growing political entities on Earth with a population at, or exceeding, one million subjects. It’s mathematical, technical, architectural, and agricultural impact has spread from the region to permeate all modern societies.
Historians have used archaeological evidence as well as literary evidence produced by the Zylon and foreign explorers/ colonizers to arrive at this understanding of Zylon origins.
Task: Create a Zylon Origin Myth
The historical accounts briefly described above must be incorporated into a mythical story that will convey a purpose and proud heritage to future generations. Use your auxiliary notes, the research primer mindmaps, and digital copies of the textbook (for reference), to create this ‘origin’ myth. Be sure to include three (3) elements that is commonly employed in myths. In essence, you must create a myth worthy of the Zylon Empire.
Origin myths are not usually very long and detailed. They can achieve their purpose without the detail that is normally infused in literary works (eg. Novel) or research paper. For our effort, you must create a myth with a structure that is consistent with all great stories: A distinct Beginning, Middle, and Closing.
The myth must:
-Not exceed one typed page.
-Have at least three paragraphs.
-Be double-line spaced.
-Have 1 inch margins- top, left, right, and bottom of the typed page.
-Have text with a Font size of ‘12’.
-Use the ‘Helvetica’ Font style for the typed text.
-Due date will be posted on the calendar, but you’ll have at least two class sessions and opportunity at home to work on the story.
-Certain selections will be chosen for publication on the course website. The selected submissions and ‘Honorable’ mentions will be awarded ClassDojo credit. Submissions completed in accordance with instructions and displaying an understanding of cultural value, will receive the highest evaluations.