Mythology is a collection of stories that are about ancient peoples and their beliefs. Many times the characters are supernatural, or at least larger than life. Religious leaders and rulers usually uphold these stories that explain rituals and natural phenomenon.
Different Types of Mythology
Examples of creation mythology:
- The Pueblo believed they used to live underground and climbed up through a hole in the Earth. They struggled to find arable land where the gods taught them how to farm and build houses.
- The Inuit believe there were two giants that had a baby girl named Sedna who grew so big, they could not feed her. They took her to the middle of the ocean and threw her in. She lives at the bottom of the sea and the Inuit ask her to provide food when they are hungry.
- In the Philippines there is a myth of the Children of the Limokon. The Limokon were dove-like birds that could talk to humans. They laid two eggs at the Mayo River that became the first man and woman.
- In southern Nigeria, the Ekoi believe that there were two gods in the beginning: Obassi Osaw and Obassi Nsi. Osaw lived in the sky and Nsi lived on the land. Osaw provided light and rain and created the first man and woman. Nsi taught humans to survive and took them into the earth when they die.
- The Norse creation myth has Odin and his brothers making Middle Earth, where humans live, from the body of a giant. His flesh and bones were the land, his blood became the rivers and oceans, and his brain became the clouds.
- In Papago myth, First Born came to the world when it was only darkness and water. First Born finished the creation of the world with Coyote and Buzzard.
Examples of Greek and Roman Gods mythology:
- The Abduction of Persephone myth explains the growing and harvesting of crops and the fact that nothing grows in the winter.
- The myth about Romulus and Remus tells about the founding of the city of Rome.
- Aurora is the Roman equivalent of Eos, the goddess of the dawn. She cries over the loss of one of her sons and her tears become the morning dew.
- Atlas was one of the Titans, who ruled before the Olympians, and he was punished and made to hold up the world on his back.
- Zeus had two brothers named Poseidon and Hades. They drew lots and he became ruler of the gods, the rain god and lord of the sky. He uses a thunderbolt as a weapon against his enemies.
- Apollo’s mother was Leto and his father was Zeus. He was the healer, a god of truth and music. One of his duties was to take the sun across the sky with his chariot.
- The Argonauts helped Jason during his quest to find the Golden Fleece. He wanted the fleece to claim his right to the throne.
- The Trojan War between the Greeks and Troy is an example of Greek mythology. It is covered in literature, like "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" by Homer.
- Aphrodite was the goddess of beauty, love, desire, and procreation. Her Roman counterpart was Venus.
Examples of animal mythology:
- "How the Bear Lost his Tail" is a story that explains that the bear used to have a long tail and lost it because of his vanity. Fox tricked him by telling him to fish in the mostly frozen pond by dipping his tail in the water. Bear fell asleep and the water froze around his tail. Fox woke him up, he jumped up and most of his tail came off.
- In "The Red Dragon," the animals were warned that the world was going to end, so many of the animals got on the Red Dragon’s back to fly away. Soon the dragon tired and the animals fell off. The rhino landed on his face and the bump became a horn. The hippo kept rolling down the hillside, getting fatter and fatter, and landing in a watering hole. The giraffe caught his head in a tree and stretched his neck until he was on the ground. Lastly, the elephant broke all his teeth except for two that were stuck in the ground.
- In "Kangaroo Gets a Pouch," Mother Kangaroo was kind to a wombat and helped him get food. Meanwhile, Joey was often hopping away and Mother had to go after him. When hunters were approaching, Mother helped Joey and the Wombat hide in the bushes. The wombat told Mother that he was actually Father of all Creatures, who had disguised himself to find the kindest of all creatures. He told her to place some bark on her stomach and a pouch appeared. He told her that she now had a way of keeping Joey safe.
- There is a Choctaw myth about why owls stare. An owl and pigeon argued about whether there were more owls or pigeons. They arranged for them all to meet and be counted. There were so many pigeons that the owls just kept staring as more and more of them came.
- In the Seneca myth about why chipmunks have stripes, a bear boasts that he can do anything and the chipmunk asks if he can stop the sun from rising. When he can’t, the chipmunk makes fun of him. He holds her down with one paw, ready to kill her. He loosens his grip, she runs away, and the stripes were made by his claws.
As you can see, there are all different sorts of myths that exist.