Examples of Etiological Narrative:

BACKGROUND:
According to Brunvand myths "may be defined as 'traditional prose narrative, which, in the society in which they are told, are considered to be truthful accounts of what happened in the remote past.'  Typically, they deal with the activities of gods and demigods, the creation of the world and its inhabitants, and the origin of religious ritual. Whenever myths purport to explain such matters as origins of geographical features, animal traits, rites, taboos, and customs, they are know as explanatory or etiological narratives."  While many such narratives were not believed by their tellers (they were etiological folktales), other narratives were believed to be true (they were etiological myths). Often times the same narrative can  be both a myth and a folktale--depending on who is telling it. For example the Tower of Babel narrative is viewed as a true explanatory myth by some fundamentalist believers; on the other hand, many others see the narrative as an explanatory folktale--a story that is perhaps a metaphorically true, but still a story that is basically fictional. GUIDELINES: Your etiological narrative can be either a myth or a folktale. It can recount the creation of a well-known geographical feature (Mt Shasta, Lake Tahoe..), specific animal traits (why dogs bark, why ants work together), taboos (why incest is wrong), customs (why people are buried underground). Please be descriptive. You may use dialogue, figurative language, or any other rhetorical device you wish. Try to imagine you are a member of an ancient culture, a pre-scientific culture, and myth is your vehicle of explanation. Indicate in the title whether your narrative is an etiological myth or an etiological folktale.

A FEW EXAMPLES:
Read about how bear lost his tail
Read about the origin of medicine
Read about why the North Star stands still
Read the Biblical explanation of why there are many languages

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