Cherokee Archetypes compared to US arechtypes.

Essay by darch2003 May 2003

download word file, 5 pages 4.6

An archetype is a universal human concept. They are in every culture in different forms. Carl Jung believed that because concepts appear in every civilization that had no contact with one another because of geography or history, that these concepts must be a part of all humans from the beginning of their lives. "Archetypes are the inherited part of being human, [they connect] us to our past, beyond our personal experience to a common source."( Skibyak) The Cherokees, a Native American tribe had many legends and myths that explained some of the archetypes in their culture. The archetypes in this paper were: The "Grim Reaper", The Trickster, The Creator, The Hero, and The Earth Mother.

Among the Cherokee the most dreaded spirit was the Raven Mocker, much like the Grim Reaper in American society. "The Raven Mocker then eats the heart of the victim. This act will add the number of days or years they have stolen from the victim to the length of their own lives, keeping them refreshed so they can commit more evil."

(Nicholson) The Raven Mocker is like the Grim Reaper because they both take peoples lives away. The Grim Reaper uses his scythe to end people's lives, and the Raven Mocker eats people's hearts to keep him alive.

The Trickster in Cherokee culture would be the rabbit, as opposed to the devil in American culture. The rabbit was always a trickster and deceiver in Cherokee myths, he was usually spiteful, but was often beaten at his own game by the people he intended to pick on. "Cherokee legends are full of rabbit stories. "The Rabbit goes Duck Hunting," "How the Rabbit Stole the Otter's Coat," "Why the Possum's Tail is Bare," "How the Wildcat Caught the Gobbler," (which includes the Rabbit begging for...