Hopi Creation- Religious View Essay, Research Paper
Q.2 Paden gives us four cross-cultural categories for the comparative study of religion : “myth” , “ritual” , “gods” and “systems of purity”. Using these four categories, and to the best of your ability without necessarily doing outside research, analyze the Native American Hopi creation I have provided you.
Ans. Religion and religious beliefs are primarily based on great foundational forces that generate and govern the world. From Ancient Greek times “myth” has had started developing. It actually means anything delivered by mouth. Greek philosophers constructed myth to mean a fanciful tale as opposed to true, others took myth as the word that conveys an original, primal state of things, as opposed to merely superficial, human words. Myth can appear as either merely imaginary or as profoundly true. Although in western culture myth is often used in a negative sense. Anthropologies found within the settings of tribal life that these communities had clear distinctions between stories of entertainment and sacred stories that defined the normative precedents by which their behavior was guided and on which their universe was founded. American Hopi culture, according to the text, Hopi creation is a Native American mythology. It uses some themes, the Spider Woman, The Sun God Tawa, and the division of parents into new creative forms, and creation by thought. Spider woman is associated with the earth. The sun god Tawa is associated with the divine spirit that gives light and life on earth and father of all that shall ever come. And the other is the most common native American theme, creation by thought. Another theme is the creation by song, that involves Ansazi-Hopi ritual song- dances. Hopi creation is based on mythical languages. Hopi think of myth as a “charter for initiation into manhood”.
Ritual dramatizes world foundations in terms of performance. It is a result of an assortment of biases. Ritual is seen as a superstitious manipulation of magical forces. One way to understand it is by seeing how varied its observances are in content. A general feature of ritual is that it has a tangible form of expression, a display. The language of ritual is action itself. Ritual can embody its truths in any kind of act. In hopi culture we see Tawa and spider woman wanted to be Earth Above and Below where now lay shimmering only the endless waters. They did not like creatures lie still and quite. So they thought of doing a mighty magic. They laid a white blanket, fleecy as a cloud, and made a mighty incantation over it, and soon the figures stirred and breathed. Ritual creates an environment for the eye, literally constructing a visual universe. A cathedral declares the smallness of human stature within the divine majesty of the house of God.
God is a central subject matter for a religion or a culture. It is not something visible, it is just a religious believe or a religious hero who is the creator and leader of a religious group. Hopi culture has the mythical belief of god that represents the sun god and the spider woman, who has led people of own tribes to the opening, a sipapu, that led above. This came out as the lowest depth of Colorado river. Spider woman chose person for each clan to lead them to a place to build a home for them. We can see clear declaration of believing a god that she asked each groups man to build in front of their houses. She said,” The man of the clan shall build kivas of stone under the ground where he shall pay homage to his gods.” Usually the religious meaning of god lies in what one does in the presence of the god.
Another category for the comparative study of religion is “Systems of Purity”. It is the clear distinction or separation between the sacred and the profane. Anthropologists assumed that early humans lived in a superstitious world and were incapable to distinguish between dangerous and the holy. Purity only exists with its opposite. The separation of impure and pure conduct can be imposed by threat of supernatural punishment. The Hopi tale depicts the fact that the earth is the womb from which people emerge, as childbirth. They grow up facing different opposite forces such as natural calamities and different other perils. But each stage they grow in knowledge. After birth people are bathed the sun gods power that pretty much depicts the idea of knowledge they earn from nature. Through different religions we can see the idea of systems of purity. The thematic investigation of pure and impure, right or wrong opens up large range of religious phenomena
Not revealed by other categories. Purity is not only a fear of pollution but also a function of integrity and unity in the world.