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Beginnings of American Literature Prehistory-1600

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Title: Beginnings of American Literature Prehistory-1600


1
Beginnings of American Literature Prehistory-1600
  • Shannon Luster
  • 10th Grade English

2
Historical Characteristics
  • Native Americans
  • Americas first settlers who crossed the land
    bridge between Asia and North America around
    35,000BC.
  • These settlers are the ancestors of the Native
    Americans we know.

3
The Age of Exploration
  • Our common-day knowledge of the Native American
    comes from European explorers.
  • The Age of Exploration is a period of European
    expansion during the Renaissance between 1000 and
    1492.

4
Settlements in America
  • The first successful English settlement in North
    America was in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.
  • A group of 105 colonists settled, but within
    seven months, only 32 of them were alive.
  • These colonists claim America as their own, but
    conflicts and contradictions in beliefs occur
    with those who are the true first settlers of
    America.

5
Native American Culture
  • Four Characteristics of Native American Life
  • 1. The land is sacred it is a living part of
    all beings which cannot be owned.
  • 2. Life is organized around the cycles of
    nature. (Circle of Life theory)
  • 3. Traditions are passed verbally to different
    generations through the telling of sacred
    stories.
  • 4. Speechmaking and storytelling contribute to
    ones rise in the clan organization.

6
Clan Organization
  • The Native American Culture is centered around
    two beliefs
  • 1. There is a spiritual bond between the
    Creator, humanity, and the entire natural world.
  • 2. It is the duty of humanity to maintain a
    balance between the Creator and the natural
    world.

7
Americas first stories
  • The first stories were picture stories.
  • These picture stories were meant to show the
    ancestry of the clan.
  • These picture stories are called Totem poles.

8
Native American Literary Characteristics
  • 1. It is based on an verbal tradition.
  • 2. The myth is the most important genre.
  • 3. The myths explain human behavior and
    mysteries of the universe.
  • 4. The myths use the supernatural to explain
    the natural.
  • 5. The writings employ the use of metaphors and
    similes.

9
Two Types of Myths
  • 1. Creation Myths These myths tell how the
    world and human life came to be.
  • 2. Origin Myths These myths explain how
    natural phenomena like how the stars, the moon,
    the sun, and the mountains came to be.
  • It is not uncommon to see a myth combine
    both of these styles of writing.

10
The Trickster
  • A common feature of the Native American myth is
    the trickster.
  • The trickster is an animal character who has two
    sides to his/her personality.
  • 1. He/She is a rebel who defies authority and
    creates trouble.
  • 2. He/She is a curious, a clever, and a creative
    figure who unexpectedly reveals wisdom.
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