The Rite of Passage

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Part I: Identification/Essay Question This wonderful narrative is a clear paradigm of oral tradition told for many generations of storytellers by word-of-mouth to portray a sacred world before time. A time before the advent of fire, the tale of Maui bringing fire to the cold world may dictate a factual event that by some may be considered as true and sacred, yet the veracity of the narrative is irrelevant. Rather or not this narrative is believed to be sacred or true, its genre is evident in its seemingly “before-time” setting with supportive examples of theriomorphic transformations and etiological style of explaining the existence of fire. Since the audiences’ interpretation of the narratives believability to be fact or fiction is not given, the only option to select the appropriate genre for this is to consider how the world is understood by the folklore. The narrative genre is a myth, a traditional story, esp. one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events. The myth provides an explanation of a worldview for the existence of fire, whereby the general perception from which one sees and understands the world is used to expound the advent of fire. The myth in worldview terms creates basic assumptions and images that provide a more or less coherent, though not necessarily accurate, way of thinking about the world, in our case the advent of fire. To be defined as myth, there must be an element of explaining important aspects of world order. We can see that world order in this story is restored when fire is brought to mankind by Maui hiding sparks of flame into different trees. This myth holds the primary topic concerning the etiological reasons behind fire and mankind’s use of it. The etiological topic can be seen by the myths explanation of origins of fire. Where, how, and why fire came into existence or in the hands of man? Mythical narratives serve the

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