Original Research

The elements in the cosmogonic myths of the world nations

Margarita Arutyunyan, Nataliya Solovyeva, Olga Evreeva
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6896 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6896 | © 2021 Margarita Arutyunyan, Nataliya Solovyeva, Olga Evreeva | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 June 2021 | Published: 24 November 2021

About the author(s)

Margarita Arutyunyan, Department of Philosophy and Social and Humanitarian Disciplines, Pacific National University, Khabarovsk, Russian Federation
Nataliya Solovyeva, Department of English Philology, Moscow Region State University, Mytishi, Moscow, Russian Federation
Olga Evreeva, Faculty of Humanities, Russian State Social University, Moscow, Russian Federation


For many sciences, such as history, archaeology, ethnology, linguistics, and for philosophy, cosmogonic beliefs of ancient peoples became a subject of detailed study. This work uses field research results with reliance on the scientific tradition. The authors used both special, or general scientific, and philosophical methods. The problem of semantic analysis of the elements in the folklore of the world nations in the contemporary context is highly relevant. One of the tasks of this article is to identify the importance of the elements in the ancient beliefs. For this purpose, the article describes the results of a comparative study of myths mentioning different types of the elements. The article reveals the characteristics of the elements’ embodiment in the cosmogonic myths of the world nations and determines the reasons for worshipping the sky, earth, fire, and water in cosmogonic folklore. The authors analyse the common and the special in figurative symbolism of the elements in classical and contemporary folklore. The analysis of semantic load of archetypal images describing the elements showed that each of the elements in the world mythology is sacred. The elements act at all levels of the universe and occupy the entire cosmos in the cosmogonic myths of the world nations.

Contribution: The results of the article can be used in scientific research in the field of folklore and ethnology.


cosmogony; myths; elements; gods or deities; image; folklore


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