Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Myth as Ritual: Reflections from a Symbolic Analysis of Numic Origin Myths


Among the Numic-speaking people of the Great Basin region, sacred stories or myths are told within a strict ritual setting. Within this myth-telling context, three ritual events (i.e., male puberty, female puberty, and the marriage ceremony) are examined through a symbolic analysis of 25 variants of two series of Numic origin myth. This allows for an interpretation of myth and ritual as cultural modes of symbolic expression that form levels of native realities. The various ritual processes encoded in the origin myths are identified and interpreted in an over-all context of myth as ritual.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View