INESSA KALABEKOVA

Research paper ideas (1)

Title: “Archaeology of Folklore: Mythological Motifs on the World Map” or “Unveiling Symbolism: The Archaeological Exploration of Mythological Motifs Across Cultures”

Culture is more than the sum of its artifacts; it is a tapestry woven with symbols and meanings that testify to deeper narratives. Every element within a culture, whether it be a chair or a mythological motif, carries significance and serves as a signifier of broader cultural values and beliefs. This research paper delves into the global distribution and endurance of mythological motifs across diverse cultures, exploring how archaeological evidence illuminates the historical trajectories and transformations of these motifs across continents.

The stability of elements of folklore—such as images and plot moves—is facilitated by their dual nature. On one hand, their connection with ritual and the sphere of the sacred anchors these motifs in cultural traditions, ensuring their preservation over time. On the other hand, the entertaining nature of folklore narratives makes them accessible and appealing to diverse audiences, contributing to their enduring popularity and transmission across generations.

Moreover, the “archaeological” approach to mythology and folklore differs fundamentally from other well-known approaches. Unlike interpretations that seek to decode or interpret folklore materials according to specific theories such as psychology, psychoanalysis, structural analysis (à la Claude Lévi-Strauss), or attempts to uncover remnants of archaic social organization, the archaeological approach does not impose interpretations onto the elements. Instead, it focuses on uncovering the material culture associated with myths and folklore, allowing for a more objective understanding of cultural transmission and adaptation through time.

Citations

  1. Eliade, Mircea. “Myth and Reality.” Waveland Press, 1998.
  2. Campbell, Joseph. “The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology.” Penguin Books, 1976.
  3. Gimbutas, Marija. “The Language of the Goddess: Unearthing the Hidden Symbols of Western Civilization.” HarperOne, 1989.
  4. Lévi-Strauss, Claude. “The Savage Mind.” University of Chicago Press, 1966.
  5. Mallory, J. P., and Adams, Douglas Q. “The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World.” Oxford University Press, 2006.
  6. Narayan, Kirin. “Storytellers, Saints, and Scoundrels: Folk Narrative in Hindu Religious Teaching.” University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989.
  7. Olsen, Barbara A. “Understanding Old Norse Mythology.” University of Missouri Press, 2012.
  8. Renfrew, Colin, and Paul G. Bahn. “Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice.” Thames & Hudson, 2016.
  9. Santillana, Giorgio de, and Hertha von Dechend. “Hamlet’s Mill: An Essay Investigating the Origins of Human Knowledge and Its Transmission Through Myth.” Gambit, 1969.
  10. Turner, Victor. “The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure.” Aldine Transaction, 1969.

Bibliography

    1. Douglas, Mary. “Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo.” Routledge, 1966.
    2. Eliade, Mircea. “Myth and Reality.” Waveland Press, 1998.
    3. Campbell, Joseph. “The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology.” Penguin Books, 1976.
    4. Gimbutas, Marija. “The Language of the Goddess: Unearthing the Hidden Symbols of Western Civilization.” HarperOne, 1989.
    5. Lévi-Strauss, Claude. “The Savage Mind.” University of Chicago Press, 1966.
    6. Mallory, J. P., and Adams, Douglas Q. “The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World.” Oxford University Press, 2006.
    7. Narayan, Kirin. “Storytellers, Saints, and Scoundrels: Folk Narrative in Hindu Religious Teaching.” University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989.
    8. Olsen, Barbara A. “Understanding Old Norse Mythology.” University of Missouri Press, 2012.
    9. Renfrew, Colin, and Paul G. Bahn. “Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice.” Thames & Hudson, 2016.
    10. Santillana, Giorgio de, and Hertha von Dechend. “Hamlet’s Mill: An Essay Investigating the Origins of Human Knowledge and Its Transmission Through Myth.” Gambit, 1969.
    11. Turner, Victor. “The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure.” Aldine Transaction, 1969.
    12. Murdock, G. P., & White, D. R. “Standard Cross-Cultural Sample.” Ethnology, 1969. [Link to JSTOR]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_L%C3%A9vi-Strauss

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Dundes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Boas

 

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