Earth Making

Earth MakingEarth Making

Cherokee

There wasn’t any Earth; all the people lived up above the rainbow. They asked water beetle to go down into the water and see if there was anything under there. He went down and brought back just a dab of earth, which magically spread. It was still all muddy though. The people sent a buzzard down to see if it was firm enough to stand on. The buzzard saw that the mud was hardening and used his wings to sweep through the mud and make the mountains of Cherokee country.

The people went down and took the sun with them. They brought it with ropes and told it to go from east to west, but it was too hot. They asked some shamans to push it further away. It burnt the crawfish and turned it red and so the Cherokee people won’t eat crawfish. They finally managed to push it far enough away from comfort.

Some wise man had made all the people and animals before anyone had gotten there. He told the animals and trees to stay awake and wait for the people. Only a few animals were awake after seven days and they received the gift of seeing in the dark. A few of the trees were awake after seven days and they received the gift of being green all winter. Man and woman were also created. The man poked the woman with a fish and told her to have a baby and she did. Babies used to come every seven days, but there got to be too many people, so women can only have one baby a year now.

There is yet another world underneath our world, but you have to get to it through a spring and have a guide from that world. It’s exactly like our world except for the seasons are opposite.

Observations

So…Australia? The underworld is the southern hemisphere. The story states that the seasons are opposite. So we can leave our world and go to Australia, sure, why not?

Don’t poke me with a fish. Is fish a euphemism? This seems like a really odd way to get pregnant if it’s not.

Themes

You have to stay awake to be able to see in the dark and have your leaves stay green all winter. Sometimes, you just have to stay awake instead of falling asleep to accomplish something.

Overall

A buzzard made my mountains.

Weigh In

Could you have stayed awake seven days?

Is Australia the underworld?

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