Myths are ancient stories. Some are based on old folk tales, some are former religious stories which have lived on as myths.
The word 'myth' also means a story which is commonly believed but is untrue. An 'urban myth' is the classic example.
All cultures have myths of some kind, and ancient cultures themselves had even older stories handed down from prehistory. The ancient storytelling tradition was based on a core storyline, often derived from myths or moral tales. Aesop's Fables are the best example of this form.
Cultures with oral history traditions frequently use myths as educational or cultural orientation, like Native American cultures. Advanced cultures with written literature like the ancient Chinese used myths and their literary references as idioms.
Cultural examples of myths
Africa's myths are diverse and often misinterpreted by cultural fragmentation.The god Abassi
The oldest continual oral history on Earth. An Aboriginal elder in South Australia once met a historian and gave an exact transcript of traditional lore in 18 dialects.Bunyip
Brittany has its own distinct cultural history, and the folk tales are a rare insight into the society.
Ys, the doomed city
The ancient Celtic culture has never died. Its recent revival is an example of the depth of its grip on its people.Celtic polytheism
Chinese culture has always survived its politics. These stories are a good introduction to the fundamental principles.Dragon King
Egypt was ruled by its gods and goddesses, in more ways than one. The story 'The Indestructibles' shows how even the Pyramids were influenced by this vast belief system.The god Aken
The goddess Pakhet
Stars: The Indestructibles
Cynocephaly (dog headed)
Gaul, like many Celtic lands, had its own tales, some shared, like Epona, some regional, like Sequana.Epona The Horse Goddess
Sequana Goddess of the Seine
Another large belief system, the pan Germanic deities include many of the major Norse gods.Odin (Woden, Wotan)
The Greeks are believed to have developed their gods from much older prehistoric beliefs. They're the best recorded of all ancient European myths.Aphrodite Goddess of Love
Indian mythology illustrates how religion and myth interact.Ganges
Before the Buddhists arrived in Japan and brought Chinese culture, there was an existing native mythology. These tales are from that era.Kami (Spirits)
The huge diversity of Native American legends is staggering. One of the more current tales is the Lakota Black Hills story. In the 1980s, the Lakota, better known as the Sioux, refused compensation of $106 million for the Black Hills. THopi/Navajo Skin walker
Norse legends have gone into the European psyche in many ways. The pan German Norse gave the Valkyrie saga to German culture.Valkyrie
This Mongolian myth refers to a worm which is supposed to be up to 1.5 metres long.
The Persian culture influence Europe for centuries. The ghoul is now a standard feature of many 'Western' myths.
Predating Christianity, Piccollus is an insight into this ancient culture.
The Scottish Banshee wails when a king is about to die.
Modern America has produced a few spoof like myths, but these two are from regional folklore.Boo Hag
The Zulu are better known as fighters than for their culture. This is one of the few available tales from their past.