The Great Cherokee Creation Myth
All the questions in the world could have never predicted this. When we think of Indians we think the least because they didn’t have any of the advantages we have today; So we don’t really know how they came to be in the first place. A myth means people have told the story but it is not in fact the truth. I will be telling the myth of how the Cherokee Indians came to be on this earth.
It’s said that the earth is just a great island floating in a sea of water suspended at each of the four cardinal points by a cord hanging down from the sky vault, which is of solid rock. The Cherokee are afraid of the Earth getting worn out; they believe that when the Earth gets old and worn out that it will die and so will all who live on it. At first the earth was flat and very soft and wet. The animals were anxious to get down, and sent out different birds to see if it was yet dry, but they found no place to alight and came back again to Gälûñ’lätï. At last it seemed to be time, and they sent out the Buzzard and told him to go and make ready for them. This was the Great Buzzard, the father of all the buzzards we see now. He flew all over the earth, low down near the ground, and it was still soft. When he reached the Cherokee country, he was very tired, and his wings began to flap and strike the ground, and wherever they struck the earth there was a valley, and where they turned up again there was a mountain.
Cherokee, Men came after the animals and plants. At first there were only a brother and sister until he struck her with a fish and told her to multiply, and so it was. In seven days a child was born to her, and thereafter every seven days another, and they increased very fast until there was danger that the world could not keep them. Then it was made that a woman should have only one child in a year, and it has been so ever since. Archeological evidence indicates that Native American tribes lived in the Yellowstone area almost 10,000 years ago; a major trail these tribes used for tracking bison goes right through the park. Some of the tribes that traveled or lived nearby include the Shoshone, Bannock, Blackfoot, Flathead, Nez Perce, Utes, Crows, Piegans, and Paiutes. While scientists believe Native Americans originated in Asia and came to the Americas via a land bridge between modern day Russia and Alaska, a second theory posits that ancient Asians came to the Americas by boat, traversing the Pacific coast. Iroquois legend tells of a great island floating in the sky on which the Sky People lived long before the world existed. Feelings of death and sadness were not experienced amongst the Sky People. The Sky Woman stepped onto that land and created the moon, sun and stars. She gave birth to twin sons, Sapling and Flint. Sapling was the good son and Flint, the evil one. Sapling created all that is good in the world while Flint worked to destroy it. In the eventual battle between good and evil, Sapling emerged victorious, but did not kill Flint. The Iroquois have a great respect for all animals that is displayed throughout their origin story, for if not for the animals’ help, Sky Woman would have drowned and never created the earth.
With all these myths no one will ever really know the real creation of this native american tribe. But we do love to think of the ways it COULD HAVE been.
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