Native American Literature: Creation Myths

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, United States Pages: 2 (714 words) Published: December 1, 2013

Native American Literature

Over the years Native American tribes have all had their own creation myths, a few of these tribes are the Iroquois, the Okanogan, and the Karankawa. The stories that these people created were used by parents to tell children the places they come from, or why they live their life the way that they do. These stories include “The World on the Turtle’s Back”, and the story of the “Coyote and the Buffalo”. These stories were told by the Iroquois and the Okanogan. The Iroquois told the story of “The World on the Turtles Back”, to tell their children where the world came from and how everything in the world is balanced and right. The Okanogan told the story of “Coyote and the Buffalo” to tell there people why they can not hunt the buffalo where they live and also to teach them the importance of keeping your word. Both these stories have to do with some form of magic. The ancient native americans believed in magic coming from the earth.

In the story of “The World on the Turtles Back” there is a young pregnant woman who falls into a hole after she made her husband dig up roots for her. This was no ordinary tree, the people knew not to bother it. When she did fall in she was put onto a turtles back which was swimming around in a giant ocean. She lived on the turtles back until she wanted to have land then she sent animals to the depths of the ocean to get some. Once she had land she raised her daughter who was impregnated with twins, A right-handed twin and a left-handed twin. The right was good and the left was evil. The left handed twin killed their mother during birth and the mother was buried, and from her grave plants grew. From her head grew the corn, the squash, and the beans “our supporters, the three sisters.”(pg. 37). They created the earth around them, balancing good with evil and bringing balance to the world. In the story “Coyote and the Buffalo”. There was a coyote who helped a buffalo gain back his trust and his tribe. As...
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