The following sample essay on: “Creation Myth of The Iroquois”. In this essay, two well known myths will be compared and contrasted. Although there are many things that will be similar between the two, there are many ways that they are also different.
One of the myths that will be written about is the Iroquois creation myth called The World on Turtles Back. The myth that is going to be compared and contrasted to the Iroquois creation myth the Hopi creation myth The Four Creations.
A creation myth is a symbolic narrative of how the world began and how people first came to inhabit it. (Wikipedia) Although there are many truths to these myths, it is unknown just how much of these stories are true and how much of them are false. The purpose of a creation myth is to tell interesting stories, whether true or false, for many readers in todays world.It is very interesting to learn about how things may or may not have happened in the beginning of life.
In the Iroquois myth The World on Turtles Back, there was a man and his wife. The wife had made a request from her husband that he knew he couldnt fulfill. He knew that the request could cause damage to their sky filled world. Somehow, one lonely tree had grown in the empty sky. The man knew that the request for some bark from the tree was forbidden. He knew that something bad would happen. Although it was not a good idea, he did not want to disappoint his wife that was carrying his baby.
After he retrieved some bark, he took it to his wife. As his wife was examining the bark, a hole opened up through the sky.
As she was getting a closer look, she fell right through the hole. It is unknown if she had slipped through the hole or if her husband had actually pushed her through. As she fell through the hole, she saw a large body of water. As she was falling, some birds braced her fall and helped her land on a turtles back. The turtle wanted to help her so it went to the ocean bottom, got the woman some soil, and took it back up to her. She then used the soil to plant a seed from the tree in the sky world. After she planted the seed, she preformed a dance ritual that began the beginning of earth. Soon after the earth was created, her daughter was born. The daughter grew up and became a mother to two twin boys. The two sons did not get along with each other. They fought all day, every day.
They were separated as one being the good son, and one being the bad son. The good son believed that the bad son had killed their mother. They both began to create animals that they could use to fight each other. This was the start of the way the new world would work. The good twin ended up killing the bad twin in the end. The good twin was able to stay on the new earth while the bad twin was thrown underneath the earth to live. The Hopi creation myth The Four Creations was about the Creator, Taiowa.
He wanted to make the endless space a world. He knew that he would have to start somewhere so he created his nephew. Taiowa instructed his nephew to create four different things. He wanted 9 universes made out of matter from the endless space. He then wanted land and sea and wind to create breezes on the 9 universes. Sotyknang, Taiowas nephew, had created 3 out of the 4 creations. The last creation that was requested was to create life. Sotyknang first created Spider Woman. Spider Woman would be the one that would help recreate life using her saliva. Spider Woman knew that she would have to create more lives so she created 4 men and 4 women. Not only did these 4 men and 4 women recreate more lives, the plants and animals that Spider Woman created also recreated. After the world continued to recreate, Sotyknang only asked of one thing, to always remember and respect their Creator, Taiowa.
As the world got larger, many people started to forget their Creator. Sotyknang knew that something needed to be done. He sent those that remembered their creator to a place for refuge and cleansed the rest of the world of the bad. This plan worked for a while until the new life started to forget their Creator as well. Sotyknang was hoping that he wouldnt have to cleanse the world again. He sent the good people that remembered the Creator to the place of refuge for a second time. After the world had been cleansed again, Sotyknang reminded people that to stay safe in this world, they would always have to remember their Creator.
The world stayed honorable in remembering their Creator for a few years after the second cleanse of the earth. Slowly, people began to forget about their creator a third time. Sotyknang knew that it would take a lot for the people to remember their Creator. He then made mountains roll over, water flood the land, and the earth froze over to nothing by ice. After the earth began to thaw, he called on Spider Woman to help recreate the earth again and recreate life. They wanted an earth with people that would remember their Creator and not cause any war between anyone else.
Sotyknang and Spider-Woman created a world with good people that they welcomed to an island. This new area would not be as beautiful as the others that they had been to. They would have some tough things to go through, but if they always remembered their Creator they could oversee their hardships. The Iroquois myth and the Hopi myth are similar in a few different areas. Both the Iroquois myth and the Hopi myth wanted the people to be honest and do the right thing. Honesty will get you far in life if you do the right thing. The Iroquois myth wanted the people to always remember their Creator, the one that began the earth.
They wanted people to be honest and not cause war. To always remember where they came from. If you forgot your Creator, you would be punished and removed from the world. In the Hopi myth, the man was supposed to do the right thing and not take bark from the tree. He knew that if he took bark from the forbidden tree that he would be punished. In both myths, the women helped recreate life. They both reproduced so more people could be created for the earth. Earth had been created from something small and made into something large. The way these two myths are different is how the world was created. In The Four Creations the world was created out of space. The Creator knew what he wanted and began creating it, starting with his nephew. His nephew created the 9 universes, water & land, and wind.
The Creators nephew created the entire world. In The World on Turtles Back, the world was already created. The husband and wife lived in the sky world. Their sky world was empty except for a tree that had grown. After the husband removed bark from the forbidden tree, a hole opened up in the sky world. As the wife fell through, she saw the water underneath their sky world. The sky and the water on earth had already been created for the husband and wife to begin new life. In conclusion, the world had a beginning that was very minimal. Without a creator, nothing on earth would have been made. Many people believe that these types of myths are true. They believe that the world was started as empty space or a sky filled world. Myths can be interesting and full of a lot of useful information if you choose to believe them.