Iroquois and their “legend” The World on the Turtle’s Back
Iroquois tell their legend in The World on the Turtle’s Back of how the earth was created and how balance in the world resides. Iroquois are one of many Native American tribes in which still live in the United States today; in fact, there are more than 50,000 Iroquois living in the United States today. The term Iroquois refers to six separate Native American groups: the Senela, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk, and Tuscarora. The Great Binding Law is a law in which both the United States Constitution and the founding charter of the United Nations are based on ideas found in the Iroquois constitution. More than 25 written versions of the story exist. For 175-200 years, Iroquois dominated other Native American groups and remained free of both British and French rule. “[Native American] stories remind the people of who and what they are, why they are in this particular place, and how they should continue to live here.” The stories are what they believe in and their way of life. The stories also explain their origin and what they tell others. The World on the Turtle’s Back is a story by Iroquois that is based on myths and beliefs of Iroquois about how the earth is formed. Iroquois believed that above a vast ocean in which birds and sea creatures lived; there was a Sky-World in which gods who were like people; like Iroquois lived. A man and his wife, who was expecting a child, became hungry and searched for food. “They came upon a Great Tree; a sacred tree that stood at the center of the universe.” The tree’s roots supposedly had different kinds of leaves, fruits and flowers, but it was the bark that the woman craved; in which pregnant women crave strange food, as a food or medicine. The tree was not to be tempered with by any Sky-World beings. Giving in to his wife’s will, the man dug up the tree to gather some bark from the Great Tree’s roots. The man then broke a hole in the thin surface of their world...
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