The Myths of the New World

Daniel G. Brinton

Myths of the New World, by Daniel G. Brinton

Project Gutenberg's The Myths of the New World, by Daniel G. Brinton This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: The Myths of the New World A Treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America
Author: Daniel G. Brinton
Release Date: September 22, 2006 [EBook #19347]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE MYTHS OF THE NEW WORLD ***

Produced by Robert Cicconetti, Julia Miller and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images generously made available by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions (www.canadiana.org))

Transcriber's Note
A number of typographical errors and inconsistencies have been maintained in this version of this book. They have been marked with a [TN-#], which refers to a description in the complete list found at the end of the text.
Text printed in Greek letters in the original has been surrounded by ~s.
Oe ligatures used in the original text have been expanded. The following codes are used for characters that are not able to be represented in the text format used for this version of the book.
[)a] a with breve [=a] a with macron [=e] e with macron [=u] u with macron

THE MYTHS OF THE NEW WORLD
A TREATISE ON THE SYMBOLISM AND MYTHOLOGY OF THE RED RACE OF AMERICA
BY
DANIEL G. BRINTON, A. M., M. D. Memb. Hist. Soc. of Penn.; of Numismat. and Antiq. Soc. of Philada.; Corresp. Memb. Amer. Ethnolog. Soc.; author of "Notes on the Floridian Peninsula," Etc.
NEW YORK LEYPOLDT & HOLT LONDON: TRĘ╣BNER & CO. 1868

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by DANIEL G. BRINTON,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

PREFACE.
I have written this work more for the thoughtful general reader than the antiquary. It is a study of an obscure portion of the intellectual history of our species as exemplified in one of its varieties.
What are man's earliest ideas of a soul and a God, and of his own origin and destiny? Why do we find certain myths, such as of a creation, a flood, an after-world; certain symbols, as the bird, the serpent, the cross; certain numbers, as the three, the four, the seven--intimately associated with these ideas by every race? What are the laws of growth of natural religions? How do they acquire such an influence, and is this influence for good or evil? Such are some of the universally interesting questions which I attempt to solve by an analysis of the simple faiths of a savage race.
If in so doing I succeed in investing with a more general interest the fruitful theme of American ethnology, my objects will have been accomplished.
PHILADELPHIA, April, 1868.

CONTENTS.
CHAPTER I.
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS OF THE RED RACE. PAGE Natural religions the unaided attempts of man to find out God, modified by peculiarities of race and nation.--The peculiarities of the red race: 1. Its languages unfriendly to abstract ideas. Native modes of writing by means of pictures, symbols, objects, and phonetic signs. These various methods compared in their influence on the intellectual faculties. 2. Its isolation, unique in the history of the world. 3. Beyond all others, a hunting race.--Principal linguistic subdivisions: 1. The Eskimos. 2. The Athapascas. 3. The Algonkins and Iroquois. 4. The Apalachian tribes. 5. The Dakotas. 6. The Aztecs. 7. The Mayas. 8. The Muyscas. 9. The Quichuas. 10. The Caribs and Tupis. 11. The Araucanians.--General course of migrations.--Age of man in America.--Unity of type in the red race 1
CHAPTER II.
THE IDEA OF GOD.
An intuition common to the species.--Words expressing it in American languages derived either from ideas of above in space, or of life manifested by breath.--Examples.--No conscious monotheism, and but little idea of immateriality discoverable.--Still less any moral dualism of deities, the Great Good Spirit and the Great Bad Spirit being alike terms and notions of foreign importation 43
CHAPTER III.
THE SACRED NUMBER, ITS ORIGIN AND APPLICATIONS.
The number Four sacred in all American religions, and the key to their symbolism.--Derived from the CARDINAL POINTS.--Appears constantly in government, arts, rites, and myths.--The Cardinal Points identified with the Four Winds, who in myths are the four ancestors of the human race, and the four celestial rivers watering the terrestrial Paradise.--Associations grouped around each Cardinal Point.--From the number four was derived the symbolic value of the number Forty and the Sign of the Cross 66
CHAPTER IV.
THE SYMBOLS OF THE BIRD AND THE SERPENT.
Relations of man to the lower animals.--Two of these, the BIRD and the SERPENT, chosen as symbols beyond all others.--The Bird throughout America the symbol of
Continue reading on your phone by scaning this QR Code

 / 115
Tip: The current page has been bookmarked automatically. If you wish to continue reading later, just open the Dertz Homepage, and click on the 'continue reading' link at the bottom of the page.