The Power of Myth - Study Guide Chapter IV, Sacrifice and Bliss Summary & Analysis

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The first topic in this chapter is the relationship between early plains dwellers and the landscape in which they lived. These early societies mythologize the animals and plants of their world and attribute spiritual powers to the land itself especially in high places and in mountains. In doing so they sanctify their local landscape. The Navaho culture of the American Southwest is an example of this. The Navaho pay attention to the orientation of their hogans, and include mythologized animals figures in their sand paintings. Similar land oriented rituals occur among the Sioux who include the sky and the four cardinal directions in their pipe smoking ceremony.

The same universal sanctification of the land extends to all cultures throughout the world from the early Icelandic settlements to the cultures of Ancient Egypt. Mexico City, or Tenochtitlan as...

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