The Creation Story – Turtle Island
For the Ojibwa/Anishinabe people, the legend is as follows. Long ago, after the Great Mystery, or Kitchi-Manitou, first peopled the earth, the Anishinabe, or Original People, strayed from their harmonious ways and began to argue and fight with one another. Brother turned against brother and soon the Anishinabe were killing one another over hunting grounds and others disagreements. Seeing that harmony, brotherhood, sisterhood, and respect for all living things no longer prevailed on Earth, Kitchi-Manitou decided to purify the Earth. He did this with water. The water came in the form of a great flood, or mush-ko'-be-wun', upon the Earth destroying the Anishinabe people and most of the animals as well. Only Nanaboozhoo, the central figure in many of the Anishinabe oral traditions, was able to survive the flood, along with a few animals and birds who managed to swim and fly. Nanaboozhoo floated on a huge log searching for land, but none was to be found as the Earth was now covered by the great flood. Nanaboozhoo allowed the remaining animals and birds to take turns resting on the log as well. Finally, Nanaboozhoo spoke. "I am going to do something," he said. "I am going to swim to the bottom of this water and grab a handful of earth. With this small bit of Earth, I believe we can create a new land for us to live on with the help of the Four Winds and Kitchi-Manitou." So Nanaboozhoo dived into the water and was gone for a long time. Finally he surfaced, and short of breath told the animals that the water is too deep for him to swim to the bottom. All were silent. Finally, Mahng, the Loon spoke up. "I can dive under the water for a long way, that is how I catch my food. I will try to make it to the bottom and return with some Earth in my beak." The Loon disappeared and was gone for a very long time. Surely, thought the others, the Loon must have drowned. Then they saw him float to the surface, weak and nearly unconscious. "I...
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