Cibola 87

This entry is part 86 of 119 in the series Cibola

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Well into the sixteenth century, sleep is one of the prodigal sources of historical documentation, of which the court astrologer is archivist. More difficult to circumscribe but also more important in the dynamics of history are those dreams which transcend the consciousness of the individual. History knows of collective dreams of panic or of hope, of refuge or of action. . . . “Promised lands”, even when they are first dreamt individually . . . are re-dreamt a thousandfold by the community of the convinced.
GEORGE STEINER
“The Historicity of Dreams”

In Zuni dreaming a segment of the dreamer’s self travels outside the body and has experiences in past, distant, or future times and places. . . . [Medicine society members and rain priests] express no fear of dying while dreaming, or at any other time, since their initiation involves the strengthening of their essence, composed of a combination of breath and heart, by projecting part of it into their personal icon (mi’le).
BARBARA TEDLOCK
“Zuni and Quiché dream sharing and interpreting”

Possibly, too, the Zuni have gone too far in attempting to inhibit the development of traits of aggressiveness, initiative, and what we in general call individuality without offering an adequate channeling for such traits. It may be significant . . . to point out in this connection the prevalence in Zuni mythology of the castration-phobia theme. In rape tales the sexual role is reversed and it is the man who is afraid of the woman.
IRVING GOLDMAN
“The Zuni Indians of New Mexico,” in Margaret Mead, ed., Cooperation and Competition Among Primitive Peoples

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