The generality of myths refers to the stories in which some significant event is explained in a divine way, in such a way as to at the same time quench some existential concern of a people and be able to find a story that is tempting to be reproduced orally within a community.
The most important myths are those that refer to philosophical questions most important that haunted the human being since he is on Earth: the creation of the Earth (cosmogonic mythss) and the origin of the human being as a species, in what is known as anthropogonic myths.
Sometimes the two myths constitute a unit, since the creation of man is interpreted as a consequence or a part of the creation of the Earth: this comes hand in hand with the interpretation that in the worldview of the world, man has a central figure.
As it is always narrated orally, the details of the myth vary as it is transmitted between different generations, giving rise to different versions. When societies had the ability to express themselves through writing or any graphic form, they began to rework themselves, becoming already an elaborated and constituted version.
Closer to our time, there were many anthropologists who had access to graphic forms that constituted myths of this type, being able to encode them based on their techniques.
The link between cosmogonic and anthropogonic myths it becomes even more evident that both are usually related to the intervention of Gods: in the first case the gods are responsible for creating the world, while in the second the gods are those who teach men to live on earth. The origin of the human being as a species is explained as an extension of some living or inert matter.
However, the anthropogonic myth necessarily includes the presence of human beings, and in particular of showing the first human beings that inhabited the world. This implied, for the recipients of the myth, a highly positive assessment of the characteristics of those first men (in some cases, including the first man as a unique construction), this first human being the best of all due to the direct interaction he had with the gods. Sometimes, as in the biblical account of Adam and Eve, the first humans are also the first to know sin.
Examples of Anthropogonic Myths
Here are some examples of anthropogonic myths about the creation of man as a species.
- The origin of men according to Genesis, with the Story of Adam and Eve, and the expulsion from the garden of Eden.
- The myth of Prometheus and Pandora, which explains why from a moment the existence of men became distressing.
- The creation of man according to the Koran, where Allah created man (and woman) from a drop of sperm.
- In Chinese mythology, man is created by the Pangu, the same creator of the entire universe.
- In Hindu mythology, Manu is the first human being the son of the Sun God.
- A variation of the biblical origin of man says that before Eve there was a woman named Lilith, the first wife of Adam who left Eden on her own initiative.
- The Norse myth in which the gods Odin, Vili and Ve give life to human-shaped wooden blocks.
- Hawaiian mythology considers that the first man is the Kumu-Honua: his myth has many ties with the history of Adam, it can be considered that it was transformed at the time of the conquest.
- The Greek mythology of Hesiod: men have the same principle as the immortals, but their race was degrading until the present.
- The myth of the Poopol Vuh, with the animals showing the way and giving rise to the existence of men.