Indian Creation Myths Essay, Research Paper
In reading three different Indian creation myths, The Emergence, Lodge-Boy and Thrown-Away, and The Woman who Fell from the Sky, we are taught many things not only about creation myths themselves, but about the culture from which they originated. These creation myths contain many of the same universal elements that are found in nearly all creation myths and they demonstrate for us the degree to which the Indians felt we truly are one with nature.
These three creation myths talk about three major universal elements, the flood, the creation of the first man and woman, and the nature of human beings. In The Emergence the first man and the first woman are trying to figure out why the Water Monster has been punishing them. When they discover his babies with the Coyote, they realize that he wants his children back. The punishment of the Water Monster is a direct reference to the great flood that is found in many creation myths, including that of the Christian myths.
Another universal element is the creation of the first man and the first woman. Though they are created in different manners in each story, the different creations still hold universal elements. In The Emergence, they are created from two ears of corn, which conveys the idea that the Indians believe that we came from nature. In Lodge-Boy and Thrown-Away and in The Woman who fell from the Sky, the first humans come from a mother, supporting a more mainstream idea of a birth.
Finally, these creation myths discuss the nature of human beings. In all three of these stories there is a struggle for power. In the Emergence, it occurs between all the creatures, in Lodge-Boy and Thrown-Away, it is a struggle between humans and all in nature, and in The Woman who fell from the Sky, it is between two humans, one good and one evil. These three ideas truly encompass our thoughts of a struggle between either man vs. man, man vs. nature, or man vs. nature. All three of the Indian creation myths hold universal elements that are easily recognizable and comparable to other creation myths from other cultures.
The Indian creation myths also teach us a great deal about how we should be with nature. The Indians nearly worshiped nature; they never harmed it, but rather used it for their survival. In today?s society, we abuse nature and choose not to use it to live. We have convinced ourselves that nature alone cannot help us survive; we must have our modern day technologies. The Indian Creation myths get to the heart of the truth; humans came from nature just as plants and animals do. We should not fear or control nature, but rather be one with it. It is our beginning, our end, and is the nourishment for our survival in between.
The Indian creation myths The Emergence, Lodge-Boy and Thrown Away, and The Woman who fell from the Sky all teach us thing of importance. They demonstrate for us the universal qualities that are found in all creation myth and they also show us the beliefs the Indians held about man?s place in nature. It is re-affirmed for us that we came from nature and therefore should be one with nature. The Indian creation myths help us learn about where we came from and the way that our predecessors viewed our creation.