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What will tell totemic columns of North American Indians about? Ancient roots of metaphorical thinking

the Ancient culture is attractive the fact that it comprises sources present, part kept, part lost. Sometimes it is difficult to find them behind prescription of times, - under oppression of historical circumstances the set of certificates, so primordial traditions, necessary for understanding, disappeared. In this sense strongly the Russian archaic monuments were not lucky, and therefore the reconstruction of a mythological picture of the world of our far ancestors is accompanied by difficult and scrupulous search.

In this search it is useful to address cultures of other people, not only close but also far from Slavic, in that case when in them attributes of deep old times remained, - in ancient traditions the having something in common values of images meet. That is why the culture of North American Indians is interesting to us not only in itself, but also to the best understanding of roots own.

At them, as well as at other people, since the most ancient times the progenitor was esteemed. This figure was absolutely necessary in order that the tribe had a possibility of self-perception. Speaking to language of science, it is about group psychological self-identification. Ancient people did not wish to be “Ivanami, not remembering relationship“, they needed a family tree.

The idolized totem acted as the progenitor: animal, vegetable or anthropomorphous image. And at the same time it was absolutely unimportant as far as it is real or mythical. The best of qualities, necessary for a survival, which then were transferred to members of the tribe as his descendants were attributed to this image.

For example in case the opossum (and the tribes removing the origin from this animal is known a little) was considered as the ancestor, expression “admitted fair he is brave, strong or clever as an opossum“ that for this animal is not found in reality. And you remember how Fenimore Cooper describes Chingachkuk with the son and tells about drawing a breeding totem of Mohicans - a blue turtle - on the leader`s body? It is remarkable that North American Indians have practically all names of a zoometaforichna: “A fast deer“, “A big bear“, “A sharp-sighted falcon“ etc. There is no need to explain why.

But on totemic columns of the image of various animals are located one above another: what would it mean? Are most often suggested that on them progenitors are presented. Doubtfully, however, at least because it is difficult to imagine existence of people at whom the primogenitor acts in the form of the coyote, - a crow, - turtles.

More likely, an answer root in another. The people historically did not sit in one place, and owing to various reasons (wars, crop failures, invasions, natural cataclysms) migrated. As a result of territorial movements they changed zoomorfny symbols, and respectively - the figurative comparisons expressing the main qualities necessary in this or that natural and social environment. In a word, priorities of the activity providing a survival are various in forest, mountain, flat and coastal areas, respectively - for its providing special qualities are necessary every time.

Actually, stratification of mythological ideas depending on regional conditions, inherent in Slavs belongs to the same logical row. For example, the World tree in Ukraine - an oak, and in the northern regions of Russia - a fir-tree. The vegetable symbolics corresponds to local flora and magic or natural qualities attributed to it. In particular, when speak “shivers as an aspen leaf“, are based that this tree possesses such property.

But we will return to totemic columns. It appears, on them it is possible to track a way of the tribe. If, for example, the image of a falcon is below placed, then it means that steppe areas where these birds live, and the main qualities necessary for hunting and war, i.e. for a survival in these conditions - the speed and vigilance were the place of emergence and its accommodation, most likely, initially.

In a case when over a falcon there is a bear figure, it means that the tribe migrated to forest areas where neither the speed, nor vigilance are the leading qualities of a successful survival. There force and endurance characterizing a bear are vital.

If there is an image of a turtle above, then it gives additional information. Considering that she perfectly feels both in water, and on the land, and has powerful protection - an armor, it is possible to characterize by analogy of the marked-out qualities the tribe as living in a coastal zone and nonaggressive, ready to protection of the territory, but not to attack.


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Can be helped by interpretation of Indian totemic columns with judgment of ancient Russian tradition? And how! For example, on this basis it is possible to read archaic version of the fairy tale “Teremok“ in a new way. Initially the skull of a horse - the sacred animal personifying the sun, on the one hand, and being the satellite and a totem of steppe inhabitants acted as a teremk.

When it was captivated, having elected the dwelling, a mouse (a symbol of the Underground world), a frog (the representative of the Underwater world), a hare (attribute of lust), a fox (a symbol of cunning and greed, i.e. defects), the wolf (in this case, an embodiment of other defects - cruelty and rage), was a bear - the progenitor of forest tribes, and protected the solar nature from dark.

Than not analog of a totemic column in a genre of folklore?!

Animals and plants: in what sense of comparison with it? Ancient roots of metaphorical thinking