Home    Number 6, 2012

Mythological Trees in the Forest of Culture

Type of publication: Research Article

About author(s)

Yurii E. Berezkin | berezkin1@gmail.com | Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera)


comparative mythology, world tree, evolution of culture


“World tree” as it has been used by anthropologists has no terminological significance but is applied to many different virtual objects. Taken together, these objects share the only common trait, i.e. a privileged position among other objects of their kind. It is euristically more valuable to characterize as the “world trees” only those mythological trees that connect layers of the universe. In such a case the term is relevant for mythologies of Northern and some areas of Southern Eurasia, Mesoamerica and for several Salishan groups of the Plateau region of North America. This ideal concept had been probably formed at the time when the very last migrations to the New World had place, i.e. Terminal Pleistocene – Early Holocene.


Berezkin, Yu. E. 2012. Mythological trees in the forest of culture. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 6: 3-18

Full text is distributed by eLIBRARY.ru