An Evaluation of Beringean Mythology

Tok Thompson (University of Southern California)

Beringea is an area now mostly underwater, between Siberian and Alaska. Recent archaeological and genetic data posits the “Beringeans” as a stable and relatively isolated human population group for several thousand years. Native Americans are thought of as all arriving through Beringea. Recent mythological research of Yuri Berezkin has investigated possible linkages in the myths of the descendants of the Beringeans in both Asian and America utilizing his own database of mythic motifs. The possibilities of extreme longue durée, the value of Berezkin’s database, and the integration of folkloric with archaeological, linguistic and genetic data, will be explored in this talk.

Part of 28-02 Folkloristic Work on Myth: Trends, Developments, and Tricksters, Tuesday, October 19, 8:45 pm–10:15 pm