Myths, Beliefs, and Social Values

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The Ojibwa myth, “Nanabush Creates the World”, greatly demonstrates many social values that are imperative to the culture as the story suggests itself. Firstly, there is the idea of looking out for young siblings. This idea also implies that the Ojibwa provide more power and responsibility to the elder sibling, which supposed the Ojibwa valued them more. Nanabush was known to be the elder brother who had the responsibility to avenge the death of his younger brother. He took the role of being the hero as well by defeating the evil Serpent people. In addition, the Ojibwa valued consequence for acts of wrongdoing in the form of equal punishment. Nanabush punishes the Serpent people for murdering his brother by taking revenge and murdering the Chief of all Serpents. In this particular case, a life would be taken if a life has been taken. Furthermore, the fact that Nanabush- a male- is the saviour suggests man have the utmost power; signifying a patriarchal society. It is man who defeats evil and creates a peaceful, new world for inhabitants to live in. The service for people with greater power is also an important value for the Ojibwa culture, with rewards given if the deed is done in succession. The muskrat’s determination toward finding earth from the Old World for Nanabush is the clear example. The animal died succeeding in his task and was revived because of his courageous act. Likewise, animals are of tremendous meaning because it was from their efforts that made it possible for Nanabush to create the world. Muskrats would be the animal of most value because it was he who delivered earth for Nanabush.
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