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culture hero

a mythical or mythicized historical figure who embodies the aspirations or ideals of a society.
a mythical figure considered by a people to have furnished it the means of existence or survival, as by inventing their alphabet, teaching them husbandry, or stealing fire from the gods for them. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for culture hero
Historical Examples
  • There were songs of the culture hero, songs of burial and feast, and of labour.

    Homer and His Age Andrew Lang
  • Viracocha was the culture hero of the ancient Aymara-Quichua stock.

    The Myths of the New World Daniel G. Brinton
  • We have shown that Palamedes was not originally an Achaean of the Achaeans, but a culture hero.

    The World of Homer

    Andrew Lang
  • Often in the mythologies this ultimate rational element was ascribed to the teaching of a god or a culture hero.


    William Graham Sumner

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