When They Severed Earth from Sky by Elizabeth Wayland Barber
Look inside with Google Book Preview
When They Severed Earth from Sky
By Elizabeth Wayland Barber

When They Severed Earth from Sky

How the Human Mind Shapes Myth

By (author) See other recent books by Elizabeth Wayland Barber See other recent books by Paul T. Barber
Format: Paperback

Normal Price: $59.95
Your Price: $53.96 AUD, inc. GST
Shipping: $7.95 per order
You Save: $5.99! (10% off normal price)
Plus...earn $2.70 in Boomerang Bucks
Availability: Available Available to Backorder, No Due Date for Supply



When They Severed Earth from Sky by Elizabeth Wayland Barber

Book Description

Why were Prometheus and Loki envisioned as chained to rocks? What was the Golden Calf? Why are mirrors believed to carry bad luck? How could anyone think that mortals like Perseus, Beowulf, and St. George actually fought dragons, since dragons don't exist? Strange though they sound, however, these "myths" did not begin as fiction. This absorbing book shows that myths originally transmitted real information about real events and observations, preserving the information sometimes for millennia within nonliterate societies. Geologists' interpretations of how a volcanic cataclysm long ago created Oregon's Crater Lake, for example, is echoed point for point in the local myth of its origin. The Klamath tribe saw it happen and passed down the story--for nearly 8,000 years. We, however, have been literate so long that we've forgotten how myths encode reality. Recent studies of how our brains work, applied to a wide range of data from the Pacific Northwest to ancient Egypt to modern stories reported in newspapers, have helped the Barbers deduce the characteristic principles by which such tales both develop and degrade through time. Myth is in fact a quite reasonable way to convey important messages orally over many generations--although reasoning back to the original events is possible only under rather specific conditions. Our oldest written records date to 5,200 years ago, but we have been speaking and mythmaking for perhaps 100,000. This groundbreaking book points the way to restoring some of that lost history and teaching us about human storytelling.

Buy When They Severed Earth from Sky book by Elizabeth Wayland Barber from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.


Book Details

ISBN: 9780691127743
ISBN-10: 0691127743
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 16mm)
Pages: 312
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 5-Sep-2006
Country of Publication: United States

Customers who bought this also bought...


Books By Author Elizabeth Wayland Barber

Dancing Goddesses by Elizabeth Wayland Barber Dancing Goddesses, Paperback (April 2014)

A fascinating exploration of an ancient system of beliefs and its links to the evolution of dance.

Mummies of Urumchi by Elizabeth Wayland Barber Mummies of Urumchi, Paperback (April 2000)

In the museums of Urumchi, the windswept regional capital of the Uyghur Autonomous Region (also known as Chinese Turkestan), a collection of ancient mummies lies at the center of an enormous mystery.

Women's Work by Elizabeth Wayland Barber Women's Work, Paperback (January 1996)

"A fascinating history of ... [a craft] that preceded and made possible civilization itself." -New York Times Book Review

Prehistoric Textiles by Elizabeth Wayland Barber Prehistoric Textiles, Paperback (December 1992)

Provides information on the origins and early development of textiles in Europe and the Near East. Using linguistic techniques, along with methods from palaeobiology and other fields, this book shows that spinning and pattern weaving began far earlier than has been supposed. It tells how it was more culturally significant to prehistoric cultures.

» View all books by Elizabeth Wayland Barber

Reviews

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about When They Severed Earth from Sky book by Elizabeth Wayland Barber and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a member - it's free to sign up!)

Write a book review


Author Biography - Elizabeth Wayland Barber

Elizabeth Wayland Barber, Professor of Linguistics and Archaeology at Occidental College, is the author of "The Mummies of Urumchi" (W. W. Norton), "Women's Work" (W. W. Norton), and "Prehistoric Textiles" (Princeton). Paul T. Barber, a research associate with the Fowler Museum of Cultural History at the University of California, Los Angeles, is the author of "Vampires, Burial, and Death" (Yale).

Boomerang Bucks close

For every $20 you spend on books, you will receive $1 in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars. You can use your Boomerang Bucks as a credit towards a future purchase from Boomerang Books. Note that you must be a Member (free to sign up) and that conditions do apply.

Recent books by Elizabeth Wayland Barber close
Dancing Goddesses by Elizabeth Wayland Barber
Dancing Goddesses by Elizabeth Wayland Barber
Mummies of Urumchi by Elizabeth Wayland Barber
Women's Work by Elizabeth Wayland Barber
Prehistoric Textiles by Elizabeth Wayland Barber
»
Recent books by Paul T. Barber close
When They Severed Earth from Sky by Paul T. Barber
»
BoomerangBooks.com.au close