A Proposal on the Study of Mythologies, Applied to the Characters of Sun, Fire, Wind, an Rain

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Universidad Autónoma de Baja California
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This paper concerns mythologies of the Yavapais, Maricopas, Pimas, and Huichols, all of whom live in, or at least visit, deserts and the related elements of sun and fire. This preliminary study of the impact of desert on tribal mythology stems from the following theoretical points: first that mythologies are interested in sun, fire, wind, and rain to the extent that they render those things as characters rather than as impersonal elements.  Second that in what I call miniregions mythologies differ largely because of parody phenomenon. And third that a “mythology” comprises all of the texts that one tribal narrator tells in the order the narrator arranges them. In this manner, this paper both sets an agenda for measuring the impact of deserts on myth and introduces authorship and authority into the study of tribal mythologies. 
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