Inquiry into Cultural Authenticity in Traditional Literature: Sita’s Ramayana

by Judi Moreillon, Texas Woman’s University

“…Myth might be defined simply as ‘other people’s religion,’…”
Joseph Campbell

Sita’s RamayanaWhile folktales and fables are traditional literature of a secular nature, myths are sacred narratives. To people within a particular religious group, myths are true accounts of past events. Myths explain how the world came to be and how people’s behavior, societal customs, and institutional norms were formed. The main characters in myths are usually gods or heroes with supernatural powers and the humans with whom they interact. “…Myth might be defined simply as ‘other people’s religion,’ to which an equivalent definition of religion would be ‘misunderstood mythology,’ the misunderstanding consisting in the interpretation of mythic metaphors as references to hard fact” (Campbell 27). Continue reading