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Creation Myths

By yylnl28 Apr 19, 2012 1015 Words
There is no right or wrong creation myth because these myths were written from people who have diverse culture and different beliefs. Everyone should be open minded and accept other peoples background. Varieties of people have different opinions and beliefs about how earth and humans came to be. In these creation myths, they have their similarities and differences. The three creation myths that will be compared are the Modoc creation myth, the Maidu creation myth, and the creation myth that comes from the first book of Moses called Genesis.

After reading these three creation myths, they were similar in some ways, yet different in others. The primary idea that the three creation myths had in common was that each myth had a creator of all things in existence. In the Modoc myth, the Sky Spirit was the initiator of all. For the Maidu creation myth, Earth Initiate was the starter of life. As for the book of Genesis, God is the creator of all.

Another similarity of the myths is that there is an animal that portrayed a significant role in each myth. The Modoc’s animal in the myth was the grizzly bears, which was looked upon as ancestors to humans. It was stated, “They were the first Indians; the ancestors of all the Indians tribes.” For that reason, Indians who were residing around Mount Shasta never killed a bear. In Maidu myth, the turtle was the animal that assisted Earth Initiate to gather dirt to make dry land. The myth confirmed, “Earth Initiate scraped the earth out from under Turtle’s nails, and out it in the palm of his hand and rolled it about until it was round…” In Genesis, the serpent revealed itself as the dreadful one who convinced Eve to eat the fruit, which God forbid Adam and Eve to pick on that fruit tree. The serpent persuaded and told Eve, “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know the in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as god…” In spite of the three creation myths, each animal made an impact to the myths.

An additional similarity of the myths is that the superior creators were companied by an animal or people. In the Modoc myth, the Sky Spirit had his family. The myth states, “…Chief of the Sky Spirit decided to bring his family down and live on the earth himself.” There were additional spirits in the myth too. For example, the Sky Spirit told his youngest daughter to “Climb up to the smoke hole and ask the wind spirit to blow more gently.” In Genesis, it talked about how God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” When he mentions the word “our” this signifies that he and some other were responsible for creating man to their likeness. Therefore, the superior initiators were not alone when humans, animals, and such things like nature did not exist.

Although all three of the myths had similar ideas, at some point two creation myths shared a similar idea, while one myth does not have comparable ideas like the other two. In the Modoc Indian myth and Genesis, both myths had animals that got punished. The grizzly bears punishment in the Modoc creation myth was to “walk on four feet and never talk again.” As for the snake in Genesis, it said, “…upon they belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” As for the similarity between Maidu myth and Genesis, man was made from dust. It was stated that Earth Initiate made man when he “took dark red earth and mixed it with water, and made two figures, one a man and one a women.” In Genesis, God made man when we” formed man of the dust of the ground.” Furthermore, in the Genesis, and in the Modoc creation myth, both females in the myths disobeyed because of their curiosity. Eve in Genesis was told by God not to eat from the good and evil tree and instead of obeying, “she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat.” In the Modoc myth Sky Spirit’s daughter was told “be careful not to stick your head out at the top.” As a result of the females violating the regulations and they were penalized.

On the other hand, the differences among all three of the creation myths were that they were each told differently about how earth and people came to be. In the Modoc myth, Chief of Sky Spirit “broke off the small end of his giant stick and throw the pieces into the rivers” to make beavers, otters, and fishes. He also created animals and birds. Sky Spirit’s daughter married a grizzly bear and produced “many children, who were not as hairy as the grizzlies, yet did not look exactly like their spirit mother, either.” In the Maidu myth, turtle helped Earth Initiate gather dirt. After Earth Initiate scraped the dirt soil out under turtle’s nails, “and out it in to palm of his hand and rolled it about until it was round and about the size of a small pebble. This he laid on the stern of the raft, and went away and left it. Three times he returned to look at it, and the third time found that it had gown very large. The fourth time he looked at it it was as big as the world, the raft was on ground and all around were mountains.” Then some time later Earth Initiate decided to make people; “So he took dark red earth and mixed it with water, and made two figures, one man and one woman.” In Genesis, “God created the heaven and earth” and blessed for earth to acquire nature and etc. “Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man become living soul,” and so he created people. Moreover, these three myths had their own way of clarifying how people and earth were created.

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