The Iroquois Creation Myth

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Exegesis Many Native Americans tell stories of the creation of earth that explain how they came to be before the Europeans entered North America. Creation myths vary among all cultures; however, they all have one thing in common; heaven and earth. One of the most popular creation myths was the Iroquois creation myth. The Iroquois or Haudenosaunee meaning “People of the Longhouse” (Iroquois Indian Museum, n.d.) consists of six Indian nations that include the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora tribes. In the beginning, there was a belief that before the creation of earth, there were two realms, the sky, and the lower world that consisted of water and water creatures. From the sky, a young woman named the Sky Woman was married to the Sky Chief. He had a dream that his wife was to “become pregnant from inhaling the breath from her husband but this was unknown to him” (Quenzer, n.d.) The dream disturbed the Sky Chief and began to distrust his wife. A second dream occurred in which the Sky Chief was to uproot the Celestial Tree. He believed this dream to be a powerful message and proceeded to uproot the tree. The Sky Woman had no idea that the Chief was to punish her for her alleged dishonesty. He coerced her to the large hole and as she looked through the large hole, he pushed her through the hole. As she was falling from the sky, she grabbed pieces of plants growing on the floor of the Sky World as well as a handful of seeds from the branches of the Celestial Tree. As Sky Woman descended from the sky, various animals tried to rescue her, but were unsuccessful. However, with the help from the water animals, a giant sea turtle emerged from the bottom of the sea and the animals placed the Sky Woman on the turtles b... ... middle of paper ... ...Six Nations. Retrieved from: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1027&context=libraryscienceDalesings. (2008). Turtle and Moon. Retrieved from: http://dalesings.blogspot.com/2008/08/turtle-and-moon.html Iroquois Indian Museum. (n.d.). Who are the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois)? Retrieved from: http://www.iroquoismuseum.org/ve1.htm Jii, J. (2011). Iroquois Indian Museum. Journeys and Journals. Retrieved from: http://jayjiiadventures.blogspot.com/2011/02/iroquois-indian-museum.html Olan, K. (n.d). Creation Story. Indian Iroquois Museum. Retrieved from: http://www.iroquoismuseum.org/CREATION%20.htm Quenzer, M. (n.d). Creation Story. Retrieved from: http://www.marcinequenzer.com/creation.htm Yupanqui, T. (1998). Iroquois Myths and Legends: Woman who fell from the sky. Webwinds. Retrieved from: http://www.webwinds.com/yupanqui/iroquoisdreams3.htm.
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