Native American Tales

A Tale of Elder Brother

A Tale of Elder BrotherA Tale of Elder Brother

Pima

The people wanted to kill Elder Brother so Vulture made a world. Elder Brother marveled at the world Vulture had made for a bit, but then began to pick people off. He killed the magicians, and the orators, and the provident woman. Elder Brother went on causing destruction of some sort wherever he went. Voices and other beings would ask him why he was doing it. He would say that he had done so much for the people, but they hated him.

Elder Brother found his way to the underworld where Earth Doctor helped him out. The people of the underworld pledged their allegiance to Elder Brother, unlike those people on the surface, and were ready to do whatever he said.

Observations

A vulture made the Earth? Interesting.

Themes

Is Elder Brother good? Is he bad? He was once in a capacity where he did good for the people of Earth, but then he did bad for the people of Earth. Elder Brother is essentially a god, but he turns on the people. He goes from being on their side to being on someone else’s side. Can our gods do that? Would our gods change sides? Would they nurture us and then begin to destroy us?

The God of the Bible has dealt out punishment to the people, but he did not seek to entirely destroy humanity, whereas it certainly seems Elder Brother was trying to destroy humanity. Maybe our gods get tired of us and decide to go and champion someone else? Would it happen? It’s definitely something to think about. In Christian theology, we often say God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, but is he/she? Some Christian theologies champion the idea that God was once a man, like us, and became a god. If God was once a man, then certainly God has the ability to change.

All in all, there isn’t really some universal law that says God has to take care of us. He’s made promises sure, but does a person have to keep a promise? If we think of God more as having the mind of a regular person, we should thank our lucky stars that he hasn’t gotten fed up and decided to get rid of us all.

Overall

I doubt this is the last of Elder Brother.

Weigh In

Do you think God gets moody?

Taking into account Biblical events, would God get fed up with us all?

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