Articles

Following up…

In Uncategorized on May 10, 2010 by bansal6

On my previous post, I mentioned that in my junior year in high school, I had been given a Native American origin myth to read and analyze in my very first class. The next day in class I remember our teacher making everyone sitting down on the floor in a circle, as if in front of a fire, and asking everyone to recite the story they had read. A pretty nice way to lighten everyone’s mood. When I went back home, I dug up old school files and found the story I had been given. This origin myth had been developed by the Apache Indians. The myth was a little too long, so I put a condensed form of it on this post.

In the beginning nothing existed, only darkness was everywhere. Suddenly from the darkness emerged a thin disc, one side yellow and the other side white, appearing suspended in midair. Within the disc sat a small bearded man, Creator, the One Who Lives Above. When he looked into the endless darkness, light appeared above. He looked down and it became a sea of light. To the east, he created yellow streaks of dawn. To the west, tints of many colors appeared everywhere. There were also clouds of different colours. He also created three other gods: a little girl, a Sun-God and a small boy.

Then he created celestial phenomena, the winds, the tarantula, and the earth from the sweat of the four gods mixed together in the Creator’s palms, from a small round, brown ball, not much larger than a bean. The world was expanded to its current size by the gods kicking the small brown ball until it expanded. Creator told Wind to go inside the ball and to blow it up.

The tarantula, the trickster character, spun a black cord and, attaching it to the ball, crawled away fast to the east, pulling on the cord with all his strength. Tarantula repeated with a blue cord to the south, a yellow cord to the west, and a white cord to the north. With mighty pulls in each direction, the brown ball stretched to immeasurable size–it became the earth! No hills, mountains, or rivers were visible; only smooth, treeless, brown plains appeared. Then the Creator created the rest of the beings and features of the Earth.

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