Oceanic Mythology

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Oceanic Mythology

Two classical cultures, Rome and Greece, both are well known to the world. Their mythology especially, because elements of their folk tales shape modern society. But, what about mythology originating in other parts of the world? Why are Roman and Greek culture such important sources of folklore? Seemingly unheard of stories from other regions of the earth harvest rich culture that hasn’t diffused into modern culture as well as Greek culture yet provide intriguing stories on human life. Specifically, in Oceanic regions such as Polynesia and Melanesia hold stories have been told for hundreds of generations that are almost unknown in Western culture (Wikipedia). It’s a travesty that such interesting tales of Oceanic life haven’t become important to the rest of the world, but fortunately in these islands they have importance.

In Oceania, particularly in the area of Polynesia oceanic people believed that ‘Forever’, Darkness, and the Sea have always existed (Pantheon). “Scholars believe that humans first migrated to Polynesia from Southeast Asia about 2,000 years ago. These people carried with them their mythological traditions about events, deities, and heroes” (mythencyclopedia). And thus, a tale of creation was cooked up. The tale starts with a giant Spider finding a giant clam, and crawling inside of it. It was extremely dark inside of the clam, but the spider managed to find a snail inside of the clam. The spider asked the snail to open the shell a bit, because it was so dark. The snail cracked open the mouth of the clam, and it became the moon shedding some light in the pure darkness. Another snail came to help the spider push the top of the clam’s shell open further, and the sky was created, (and referred to as goddess Rangi). The spider then pushed open on the bottom of the shell, and the earth was created, (referred to as a god, Papa). This is one version of the story that it told throughout Oceania. The other version of this

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