Creation Myths of North America, Part I

Kiowa Apache
In the beginning was only darkness. A thin disk emerged, suspended in the air. Within the disk sat the Creator, the One Who Lives Above. As he looked across the darkness, light began to appear. Colors filled the sky and the sea and the clouds.

The creator made three other gods – a sun god, and a little boy and girl. He mixed the sweat of all four gods in his palm, creating a tiny brown ball. As the gods kicked the ball around, it grew and grew. Wind went inside to blow up the ball. The tarantula, a trickster, spun a cord and pulled on the earth from all directions, using a blue cord in the South, a yellow one in the West, and the white one to the north. The ball expanded to its present size. The creator then built the hills and mountains, rivers and seas. He created the plants, animals, birds, and people.

At the beginning of the world, there was only water. All the animals lived in the sky above, and it was getting crowded. Everyone wanted to know what was under the water. One day the water beetle, Dayuni’si, offered to explore under the water. He swam deeper into the water, but all he found was mud. He brought it to the surface, and as it expanded, it created the earth we know now.

The land was attached to the sky using four strings. The land was very muddy, so the great buzzard went on to prepare it. He flew down from the sky. When he caught to the land of the Cherokee, he was very tired. The tips of his wings hit the ground, creating mountains and valleys. The animals created the sun and placed it on its path.

Many years before, two brothers led their people east, out of a land that had become barren. They brought the revered bones of their ancestors in the search fro a brave new world. Each night at camp, a magical pole was placed in the ground. In the morning, they would travel in the direction indicated by the leaning pole.

After a very long journey, they reached a place where the pole stayed vertical, rather than leaning. There, they buried the bones of their ancestors. From that burial, a great mound sprung up. The people noticed that there was not enough land to support them all. One brother took half the people and departed towards the north, becoming the Chickasaw tribe. The other brother stayed, becoming the Choctaw.

Originally, the entire world was covered in water. There was only one hill, known as Nunne Chaha. On this hill lived the “master of breath”, Esaugetuh Emissee, who created man from clay he dug out of the hill.

According to the elders, the Hopi moved to the barren desert to reinforce their bond with Mother Nature and the Creator. By living in the desert, they would always need to pray for rain. This would reinforce their ceremonies, and the bond between deities and mankind would be strengthened. The Creator, Maasaw, gave the True Hopi people the authority to represent the Red race.