The Importance of Myth and Oral Traditions, Again.

The Importance of Myth and Oral TraditionsSomeone left a comment on my last post, about how somehow Native American Oral traditions are “double reverse racism”.

Then there’s the double reverse racism of self-proclaimed experts who say “Archaeologists MUST listen to the Native American oral tradition”, the implication being that “the oral tradition” is perfect, accurate, and unchanging and further that “the oral tradition” of Native Americans currently living in Place X is relevant; to the archaeology being done. An easy counterexample it that the Cherokee oral tradition is not relevant to the Plains Indians. Other groups of Native Americans have moved around throughout history and the people who live in Place Y might have supplanted earlier inhabitants, who in turn supplanted even earlier inhabitants.

First, srly?

Second, The least archaeologists can do is listen to Native American oral traditions.

There is no “implication” that any oral tradition is perfect. Oral traditions are important not because of their perceived perfection, but because they are the history of a people.

As far as the second half of this, the relocation of the Cherokee is not a counterexample. The location of the various Cherokee tribes neither invalidates their oral traditions nor replaces the oral traditions of others. It actually makes these oral histories important because they are out of place.

I can tell from this example that the value of oral traditions in archaeology is not understood. Which really only compounds with the problems created when the Fringe uses Native American Myth to support their ideas and biases.

I want to send people to one of our older podcast episodes where Ken and I talk about these topics. The Importance of Myth and Oral Traditions – Episode 30. 

Clearly, we need to revisit this topic again, and again, and again.


We’re on YouTube again!

If you’d like to support the Podcast or site, consider donating to us on Patreon or buy us a  Ko-Fi. Either option helps us out.

Check out Jeb Card’s new book Spooky Archaeology :
Myth and the Science of the Past

And Ken Feder’s new book Archaeological Oddities: A Field Guide to Forty Claims of Lost Civilizations, Ancient Visitors, and Other Strange Sites in North America

Grab a t-shirt or coffee mug from our Swag Store on Zazzle.

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on the blog and like and share us where ever you can.

You can follow us on twitter @ArchyFantasies, or look us up on Facebook. You can reach us by email at ArchyFantasies@gmail.com.

Contact us below or leave a comment.

5 thoughts on “ The Importance of Myth and Oral Traditions, Again.

Add yours

  1. Yes we must take myth & oral tradition seriously otherwise we wouldn’t know how thousands of gods created the Earth thousands of times in thousands of ways. And Slenderman is just as valid as the Trojan war even though one oral tradition is less than twenty years old while the other is almost three thousand years old.

    You might think I’m sarcastic but that’s mere cultural bias.

  2. NO NO my friend! According to me, it’s not the Native American oral tradition that’s racist, it’s the self-proclaimed experts. E.P. Grondine and Scott Wolter come to mind but I would also toss Dhyani Ywahoo and Ward Churchill into the mix. I stand by my comment. Perhaps it’s my fault that you did not understand:

    “Then there’s the double reverse racism of self-proclaimed experts”
    NOT
    “the double reverse racism of the Native American oral tradition”

  3. “The relocation of the Cherokee is not a counterexample.”

    Nor did I say it was. What I wrote, and what it seems you didn’t comprehend, was:

    “An easy counterexample it that the Cherokee oral tradition is not relevant to the Plains Indians. Other groups of Native Americans have moved around throughout history and the people who live in Place Y might have supplanted earlier inhabitants, who in turn supplanted even earlier inhabitants.”

    1. I mean, You can do your double-speak dance all you want. It doesn’t change your non-sequitur examples or your attempt to build a strawman argument. But you know, have fun there.

  4. No doublespeak, simply repeating in plain English and pointing out where you misunderstood. I can do no more.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: