Share In The Light
Native American Stories of Creation
By Terri J.Andrews
Long ago, before there were any people, the world
was young and water covered everything.The earth
was a great island floating above the seas, suspended
by four rawhide ropes representing the four sacred
directions. It hung down from the crystal sky. There
were no people, but the animals lived in a home
above the rainbow. Needing space, they sent Water
Beetle to search for room under the seas. Water
Beetle dove deep and brought up mud that spread
quickly, turning into land that was flat and too soft
and wet for the animals to live on.
Grandfather Buzzard was sent to see if the
land had hardened. When he flew over the earth, he
found the mud had become solid; he flapped in for a
closer look. The wind from his wings created valleys
and mountains, and that is why the Cherokee territory
has so many mountains today.
As the earth stiffened, the animals came down
from the rainbow. It was still dark. They needed light,
so they pulled the sun out from behind the rainbow,
but it was too bright and hot.A solution was urgently
needed.The shamans were told to place the sun
higher in the sky. A path was made for it to travel
from east to west – so that all inhabitants could
share in the light.
The plants were placed upon the earth. The Creator
told the plants and animals to stay awake for seven
days and seven nights. Only a few animals managed
to do so, including the owls and mountain lions, and
they were rewarded with the power to see in the
dark.Among the plants, only the cedars, spruces, and
pines remained awake. The Creator told these
plants that they would keep their hair during the
winter, while the other plants would lose theirs.
People were created last. The women were
able to have babies every seven days. They reproduced
so quickly that the Creator feared the world
would soon become too crowded. So after that the
women could have only one child per year, and it has
been that way ever since.
About the author:
Terri J.Andrews, who is of Native American background, is the publisher
of The Good Red Road, a bimonthly Native American newsletter and home study guide.