The Neolithic period is considered the last stage of the Stone Age. The people were more civilized and settled as compared to their nomadic predecessors. They practiced farming due to the invention of better farming tools, due to the settlement experienced during this period, there grew beliefs (mythologies) that were used to govern the people and the societies. Different people had different beliefs that they referred from generation to generation. This essay will discuss the functions of mythology in relation to the Aztec and the West African (Yoruba) mythology.
First, mythology is used to explain creation and how things came into existence. For example, the Yoruba people of West Africa believed that Olorun, the sky god, was the owner of everything in the universe. He created the world and humanity by dropping earth on a section of the Earth. He used a pigeon and a snail to spread the sand thus forming the earth (Windows s universe, 2012). Secondly, myths seek to explain the source of phenomena in the world. During the ancient times, people did not understand the how phenomena came about and thus settled on a supernatural power as the cause. For example the Aztecs believed that earth was a goddess of life and death. She could kill using the snakes around her waist and take the hearts of the dead. The Aztecs also tried to explain and measure times by observing the sky elements. To them, the cycle movement of the sun meant it prevented he world from ending (Windows 2 universe, 2012). These myths do not represent the correct causes of certain things as it was observed and are indeed inherently fictional. There were too many gods and that would lead to dysfunction on how the world was run.
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In the modern world, biblical creation and evolution are two systems that most people believe brought about the existence of the people in the world. Scientists believe that there has been continuous evolution over time; the creatures that exist today originated from ancient creatures (Evans, p.218). For example, man is believed to have evolved from the primates. To them, evolution is accompanied by mental development and environmental adaptation. On the other hand, the creationists believe that the world was created by God (Evans, p.219). He created the world and its contents in six days. These two beliefs govern the lives of the people who believe in them.
Evans, E. M. (2001). Cognitive and contextual factors in the emergence of diverse belief systems: Creation versus evolution. Cognitive psychology 42 (3), 217-266
Windows 2 Universe. (2012). World Mythology. Retrieved January 6, 2017 from: http://www.windows2universe.org/mythology/worldmap_new.html