Native American Tales

Moon Rapes his Sister

Moon Rapes his SisterMoon Rapes his Sister

Inuit

A brother and a sister lived together in a large village. One night all the lamps went out and the sister was raped by a man in the dark. She thought he would come again, so she blackened her hands with soot. The next time the man came to rape her she put her sooty hands on his back so she could identify who he was.

She found out that it had been her own brother. Such things were not done. She ran away into the night with a brightly lit torch and the brother ran after her with a torch as well. He stumbled and fell and dropped his torch into the snow.

A big windstorm lifted the brother and sister up into the sky where the brother became the moon and the sister the sun. She stays as far away from him as possible. She only comes out when he is gone. If the brother had not dropped his torch, the moon would be as bright as the sun.

Observations

This is a sad origin story for the moon and sun.

Themes

I don’t really like this story. I know what it’s like to be so scared of someone who you will hide any time you catch even a glimpse of them. I have never been raped, and especially not by my own brother, but I can imagine that it’s very traumatic and you probably wouldn’t ever want to look at that person’s face ever again. I understand the need to be as far away as possible from a person though. I know what it feels like to be so scared of a person that you would rather take to the woods than look at their face.

This story is just so sad. It’s an origin story of how we got the sun and moon, but it’s an awful reason. I guess it’s a good explanation for why the moon and sun are so far apart from each other.

This would have been a gigantic betrayal. Being raped is already a betrayal. You’re not supposed to force someone to have sex with you. Being raped by someone who you were supposed to be able to trust is a monumental betrayal. You’re supposed to be able to trust your family members. They’re supposed to protect you, not hurt you. This story has the sun as being perpetually terrified. The sun is traumatized and will apparently be traumatized forever.

This story brings up other thoughts. What if you were in a situation where you were raped, or something nearly as terrifying, and became traumatized, but you had to see the person and you couldn’t stay as far away from them as possible? How awful would that be? It would be exhausting. It would be a constant mental struggle.

Goodness, this is such a sad story.

Overall

I usually like the moon, but in this story, not so much.

Weigh In

I just can’t even ask any questions about this story. It gives me the heebie-jeebies.

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