Claude Levi-Strauss: Mask and Myth

  • Senka Kovač Department of Ethnology and Anthropology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
Keywords:
Levi-Strauss, mask, myth, North American Indians

Abstract

This paper discuss a relationship between mask and myth and how the appropriate analysis by Claude Levi-Strauss may make clearer a complex field of masks in the part of North America. Claude Levi-Strauss stressed the multi- layered character of myth structure. Similar multi-layered character can be seen at the level of expression, content and meaning of Salish, Kwakiutl and other unique masks of this part of North America. Claude Levi-Strauss analysed certain myths trying to explain ‘the path’ of the masks that belong to the people with similar languages, or those who lived nearby. The mythology of Tsimshian, Tlingit and Haïda people have certain common characteristics that point to the similarities with the nearby groups (Kwakiutl). Despite differences that exist at the level of meanings of the masks, there is also common ‘mythological heritage’ of the people who used to live in the Northern Pacific Coast. Claude Levi-Strauss showed that there is no final solution in the myth analysis, and that there is no possibility that the dissection of the problem will reveal some hidden unity. "As mythical though does not want to start clearly somewhere and come somewhere, it never goes through its whole trajectory: there is always something waiting to be fullfield. The same way as rituals, myths are infinite." It seems that Levi-Strauss explanation of the Path of masks goes in that direction.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Izard, Michel. 1976. C. Lévi-Strauss, La Voie des masques. L’Homme 16 (4) : 143-145.

Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 1988. La voie des masques. Paris: Plon.

Levi-Stros, Klod. 1980. Mitologike I. Presno i pečeno. Beograd: Prosveta/Beogradski izdavačko-grafički zavod.

Lič, E. 1972. Klod Levi-Stros. Beograd: Duga.

Pateman, Trevor. 2003. Claude Levi-Strauss, The Way of the Masks (La voie des Masques). http://www.selectedworks.co.uk/levistrausmasks.html
Published
2009-10-19
How to Cite
Kovač, Senka. 2009. “Claude Levi-Strauss: Mask and Myth”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 4 (2), 121-35. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v4i2.7.

Most read articles by the same author(s)