What does a culture that has Sedna as its principal divinity reveal about itself?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would say that a culture that embraces the Sedna myth of creation places a great deal of importance on the sea.  The fact that Sedna becomes the queen of the underworld at the base of the sea conveys the importance of water to a particular group of people.  Along these lines, Sedna's fingers that are severed by her father are representative of the animals of the sea.  This reflects a primacy placed on sea creatures for hunt, as food source, and something to be revered.  The need to placate the goddess is also reflective of how important sea creatures are to the particular community.  At the same time, the offerings given to Sedna help to reflect the particular community's view of death and of natural conditions as being more subsuming than that of self.  Reverence of Sedna is not seen as something reciprocal.  The manner of her descent into the underworld and her given regal status in it both show how a particular culture stands in awe of the elements that cannot be accounted for in mortal being in the world.  These elements are brought out in the worship of Sedna as a principal divinity.

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