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Anthropology (Cultural Diversity) - Essay Example

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A symbol is supposed to be the representation of something else by association or resemblance or convention and it can have different levels of meanings (Symbols.net, 2007). The more familiar a symbol is to a certain culture, the higher the possibility of it being understood and accepted…
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Anthropology (Cultural Diversity)
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Anthropology (Cultural Diversity) A symbol is supposed to be the representation of something else by association or resemblance or convention and it can have different levels of meanings (Symbols.net, 2007). The more familiar a symbol is to a certain culture, the higher the possibility of it being understood and accepted. People are more likely to relate and respond to things that they know of or are parts of their everyday activities. The "sun" can be considered as a universal symbol since it is a common representation for "god" among different cultures. This is because the sun functions as a source of light and energy, which is similar to the role a "god" plays in most cultures. This could also be a cultural symbol since "sun" can also signify something different in other cultures.
Shamans, in some societies have priest-like roles. They often serve several functions such as healing, fortune-telling, and dealing with souls or serving as the connection between the physical and the spiritual world. However, the difference between a shaman and a priest is that the priest's role focuses more on conveying the teachings of God. The priest does not engage in fortune-telling, but instead, sets out to instill in people's minds how they should live their lives, according to the written commandments. Witches, on the other hand, are considered as the priests' female counterpart. However, their religious obligations are more on the care for nature and the maintenance of peace.
A Monomyth is basically divided into three stages- the Departure or Separation, the Initiation and the Return. Below is an example of a heroic story, which is derived from one of the most well-known movies and Monomyth, The Lord of the Rings.
The story begins with the hero living peacefully and quietly in a cottage, just beside a stream. Everything starts to shaken up when he meets his uncle who leaves a letter at his doorstep. The hero has no choice but to get the envelope, only to find out that it was something that obliged him to go to the place he dreaded most. Despite the grave consequences, the guy has to refuse to go and take the letter. Even if it meant him losing all his luck and being miserable for the rest of his life. He remains bed-ridden for a few days until finally realizing to take on the challenge and deliver the letter. While struggling to overcome his fear of the 'dreadful place', a little girl takes his hand and gives him an amulet for protection that will also guide him and provide him with some of his needs as he travels.
After the encounter with the little girl, the guy comes across a giant, wooden door, where he knew he had to pass to get to his destination. But as he was making his first step inside, a bolt of lightning struck, killing him, but also immediately taking him to the other side of the door. He then saw himself alone in a field where his other adventures were about to start. Little did he know that the greatest challenge he was about to face was deciding whether to marry one of the sirens he saw on the way or not. After a long while of deliberating, he decides to marry her and finds out about the curse that goes with that decision.
The siren, as his wife, decides to go with him on his journey. When they, finally, reach the foot of the mountain where they were to deliver the letter, they encounter a group of nymphs that attempt to take him away. However, remembering the amulet that the little girl gave him, he raises this and a bright light flashes revealing a giant figure among the dying nymphs. His wife recognizes this figure as his father- the same being that was to receive the letter. However, instead of putting up a fight, the figure extended his arms, took the letter from the hero's hand and told him that his mission had ended. Everything he went through was part of his rescue of the princess, the siren, and that he may now take her back to his place for the maintenance of peace and unity in the land where he came from. Now, in his return, he had more than just a promise of peace, but a renewed strength and faith in his abilities.
WORKS CITED
Symbols.net (2007). What's the difference between Sign and Symbols 19 Mar. 2007 http://www.symbols.net/signsymbols/ Read More
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