The Black Water River Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… Only one long road exists, until the spirit reaches the banks of the Black Water River. A colossal waterfall is present at the intersection of the road and the river. A large slippery log, stretching from bank to bank, spans the river just above the cataract. Two figures are visible on the opposite bank. As the traveling spirit begins to cross the log, the two creatures begin heaving stones at the spirit. If he possesses no guilt, nor has any fear, he continues his journey across the log without considering the two beings. Upon safe landing on the bank, the spirit has reached the good hunting …show more content…
He begins his trek onward, passing numerous groups of blissful spirits, whom pay no attention to the tenderfoot. Instead, the happy spirits continue to sing, dance, and feast on the perfectly sweet fruits. After passing several groups, he finds “them all alike, containing one hundred beautiful, bright, joyous, young women, and one man” (Campbell 1959:148, Debo 134:5). After traveling past many identical groups, the traveler becomes fatigued and begins to feel hopeless. Just as he is about to surrender, he hears his name called by a group of young women. The shilup will spend eternity in a land of beauty, pleasure, fertile soil, and plentiful food (Campbell 1959:148,150).
On the opposite side of the mountains, to the north, lies the bad hunting ground. The spirit would begin their journey in the same manner, journeying along the path to the river. “Behavior that automatically sends the shilup to the bad afterworld includes murder, lying that leads to the murder by someone else, divorcing a pregnant wife, and gossiping (Campbell 1959:150). Upon reaching the two beings, the spirit would feel guilt or fear, and attempt to dodge the stones. Slipping from the log, he would fall into the raging river and over the waterfall, landing in rapidly swirling pool of

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