The difference between myth and fact(s) is not as great as some think
My academic friend Bryan Sentes provided, at his Facebook page, a poignant story of marital discord that is a part of the oral history of the Aborigines in Australia.
This is the site he offered:
This excerpt from the site clarifies the importance of myth, and how mythical tales should not be dismissed because they seem to eschew factual material; that is, there are truths that transcend or enhance facts that may have long disappeared but remain woven in such tales as that of the Aborigines:
In the end, the factuality of stories like these may be impossible to determine, and the definition of ‘authenticity’ may be up for debate. With narratives this old, the distinction between ‘myth’ and ‘fact’ may have simply faded, or disappeared altogether. Myth can become a means to convey the emotional force of long-ago experiences, events witnessed by ancestors so old that they’ve become more abstract than real. In turn, historical snippets or location-specific details may be woven into mythic stories to aid their resonance with listeners. But whether you choose to class these tales as fact or fiction, the research done by Reid and Nunn does suggest that oral narratives should never be dismissed as irrelevant to our understanding of local histories. However you define “truth,” such stories can be for cultural knowledge, beliefs, and shared experiences across massive stretches of time – they become the stuff of a community’s long-term continuity.
This paper makes the case that endangered Indigenous languages can be repositories for factual knowledge across time depths far greater than previously imagined … forcing a rethink of the ways in which such traditions have been dismissed.