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Humanities LibreTexts

1: Pre- and Early Colonial Literature

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  • Learning Objectives

    After reading this chapter, students will be able to

    • Categorize the types of Native American tales and their contribution to their respective tribes’ cultures.
    • Identify significant tropes and motifs of movement in Native American creation stories.
    • Identify the cultural characteristics of Native American creation, trickster, and first contact stories distinct from European cultural characteristics.
    • Identify elements of trickster stories.
    • Understand how the search for the Westward passage to Asia led to the European discovery of the Americas.
    • Understand how the search for commodities led to territorial appropriation of North American land by various European countries.
    • Understand the role religion played in European settlement in North America.
    • Understand how their intended audience and purpose affected the content and tone of European exploration accounts.

    Thumbnail: John Smith from an illustration in The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles; with the names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from their first beginning, Ano: 1584. (Public Domain; engraver uncertain via Wikipedia)

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