Cultural Mapping of a Folkloric People
AuthorBarnett, Ean T.
AdvisorHardesty, Donald L.
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Folklore serves a fundamental societal function spreading accepted culture from generation to generation. The role of folklore is paramount in social networking and the scope of folklore will be investigated using specific myths from the Great Basin region. The Si-teh-cah as the Paiute referred to them was a mysterious group of purported cannibalistic giants. The study of this myth helps aid the understanding of the archetypical motifs and their roles in society. The underpinning of this research is to understand the cultural perceptions and perspectives that go into their folklore. From this understanding folklore has applicable functions in its role affecting the understanding of migration trends, societal framework, behavioral functions and the purpose of identity as well as the esoteric and exoteric dynamic of each group with the "Other." The typical "Other" goes through transmutation based on the society discussing the "Other." This research explores the behavioral patterning of perspective and perception that has developed and shows how this cultural framework alters aspects of myth to put each culture's signature traits into the narrative. From this understanding it also becomes apparent that through folklore we can see elements of how place affects the culture along with how all these aspects are entangled and play roles in migrational trends, social order, identity and aspects of perseverance and warfare. Folklore serves a function of cultural relativism and the dynamic art form of perception and perspective on history. Folklore can be advantageous in multiple disciplines and shows that even what we purport as factual history in contemporary times is folkloric in the respect that it is history from specific perspectives. This Great Basin research is a dynamic way to understand the universality and the cause of universality while sorting the factual information from the absurdities.