Essay on Purpose Of The Myth : The Case Of Nama And The Elephant

2102 Words Jan 8th, 2016 9 Pages
Purpose of the myth:
Every myth has a purpose, whether it is to explain a natural phenomena or the unknown. In the case of “Nama and the Elephant”, the purpose is to show why an elephant’s tusks are made of ivory. Nama, a stunning African girl, caught the eye of an elephant. Determined to marry the girl, he followed her home and began bargaining with her father for her hand in marriage. Persuaded by the significant sum of money the creature offered in exchange for his daughter, Nama’s father handed her over to him. She was trapped inside the elephant’s palace and the relationship, unable to leave him until she repaid the dowry. She wrote to her father pleading for him to undo his bargain, but he explained how he had lost the money, and their family was now poorer than poor. Seeing how unhappy she was married to the elephant, the creature 's mother asked if Nama’s magical powers where something that could be used to repay the debt. At first she thought that her powers could do nothing of the sort, but she then concocted a plan which could resolve her dilemma. By mixing, boiling, and manipulating herbs and blossoms, she was able to use her powers to create a cream of some sort. While the elephant was sleeping, she applied this cream to his tusks. As stated in the text, “When he looked in [the glass] he was astonished to see that his dull tusks now gleamed as white as the purest snow” (255). Nama said to him “The tusks that used to be made of matted hair are now fashioned in…

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