Popular Culture Review 29.1 (Spring 2018) - Page 143

is not the first artisan who made tools. In the Paleolithic Age, for example, the flint knapper created the axes, needles, spear tips, arrow points, and other tools that helped the tribe survive. The potter, too, may predate the Blacksmith: Pottery shards, clay vessels and figurines, and kilns have been discovered in Neolithic villages of Europe that date as far back as the seventh millennium bc (Gimbutas 75). Some of humankind’s earliest myths evolved from the flint knapper and the potter as well. The stone axe became linked to the Thunder God and thereby to “agricultural fecundity” (Eliade 30). This tie between the axe and fecundity is made explicit in the statuary of the Yoruba thunder god Shàngó, who is often represented on an axe, wearing a crownlike double-axe (representing meteorites or thunderstones), or wielding an axe and pointing at the sky with one hand while touching or pointing to his genitals with the other (Thompson loc. 1323-62). Further, the double-axe was linked to the union of the Thunder God with the Earth Mother (Eliade 21, 30). The double-axe was also sacred to the Mother Goddess herself in her role as regeneratrix (Baring and Cashford 112-13). The potter, on the other hand, is linked to the creation of humankind. In Genesis, God creates Adam from the earth. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, the goddess Aruru creates Enkidu from clay, and in a fragmentary creation myth, an alternative to the Enuma Elish, Aruru and Marduk cocreate humankind and animals from a reed and dust (Baring and Cashford 280). In Greek mythology, Prometheus creates humankind from mud, taking the best pieces from the animals he has already created. In Native American mythologies, a Pima legend shows how Se-eh-ha and Coyote reform the people out of earth after a flood has destroyed them (Shaw 4-5). In a Yakima story, Great Chief Above creates the world and then man and woman out of mud (qtd. in American 117-18). Similarly, an Okanogan creation story sees the Old One fashioning the Earth out of a woman and rolling mud balls from the Earth’s flesh to create first the Animal People and then the human race (qtd. in American 14-15). In some cultures, the smith, the knapper, and the potter are inextricably woven. H[Y[^]وHۙHX\YۈZ\\ZKܙX]H\]\B[\K[XH^[ۜ\H[ٙ\Y[XYۚYYYHH\ۈ]\XY[H [XYH KL K[[ۙBXZ]HZ][H\\H8'\'H [XYB JK[YHYX[X\HYHوHXZ]\B[YH\ [XYHL K[[Y[Y\ HZ BܙX]܈وH[]\K\Hو[\\[ˈ]\B\ۈYHYX[H[\[X[[\KHXZ]\\YYHۘ\\[\][ۈ[H\[[\[M