Epic Invertebrates: Transformation and Power in Oral Art and Material Culture

Mark A. Bender (The Ohio State University)

Numerous invertebrates figure in origin epics and related folk art of ethnic groups in southwest China, including the Miao/Hmong “ancient songs,” the Yao epic Miloto, many Yi epics, etc. So too, do many boneless creatures feature in the Ki’che Maya epic Popol Vuh and related art of Maya and other ancient/contemporary cultures of Mesoamerica. By way of cross-cultural juxtaposition (Allen, Trans-Indigenous, 2012), this paper examines inter-species transformational beings, realm bridging, living eco-scapes, genealogies, social hierarchies, folk taxonomies, migration, and vernacular knowledge.

Part of 04-07 Minority Peoples, Expressive Culture, and Heritage in—and from—the Southeast Asian Massif, Part 4, Friday, November 03, 8:30 am–10:00 am