The rainbow-snake and the birds' plumage: an exploration of the theme of the continuous and the discrete in claude l?vi-strauss's mythologiques

22 Jun 2017

Claude L?vi-Strauss, in his great work, Mythologiques, demonstrates that the theme of the continuous and the discrete is an important feature of Amerindian myth. This paper develops his investigation of this fascinating theme further, showing that it is a pervasive principle of Amerindian myth and that it emerges in the most unexpected settings and guises. Apart from being basic to mythic thought in the Americas, it is also found in many other parts of the world, where it plays an equally fundamental role, specifically in cosmogonic myths. This theme is also intimately related to important mythic concepts such as that of the long day or mythic age and that of the sealed container, as well as being an underlying principle of major rituals and festivals.