I. Religions tell of an
Urmensch, or first human being, as an element of etiological myths in cosmogony (Creation), anthropogony or anthropology: A primal being anticipates or establishes constants of cosmic or earthly occurrences through his/her anthropomorphic body or corresponds to the first human being.
II. These myths fulfill different functions.
1. They establish and justify social norms. The body parts of the Vedic
puruṣa, Sanskrit for “human being,” become, in a micro-/macrocosmic analogy, the hierarchy of the castes (
Ṛgveda, IX 90). Notions of prima…