Here I share several very common stories which when teaching diversity really demonstrate that we all share similar beliefs, similar “roots’ so to speak. The origins of the universe and all that IS has always been a cause for wonder. For thousands of years – people have been making up stories to explain the beginning of humankind, the earth and the cosmos….
First I share a slideshow of some books we have read to see how different people’s view creation, and below are a few quick samples of actual and simple creation stories from around the world and many different cultures. Then I share some of my favorite links to onsite myths…
Enjoy and remember to share your creation story, comments, etc. below.
The Blessing Seed
God creates man and woman and assigns them a special duty that is also a special gift, “You will care for everything on earth. Listen for the song that I sang at the beginning. My song is in everything and it will help you to learn and to care.” When Man and Woman eat of the Tree of Life, instead of punishing them God leads them to the four paths: wonder, emptiness, making and coming home. From now on they will have the blessing seed within them to spread through the world.
Apache Creation Story
In the beginning nothing existed, no earth, no sky, no sun, no moon, only darkness was everywhere. Suddenly, from the darkness emerged a thin disc, one side yellow and the other side white, appearing suspended in midair. Within the disc sat a small bearded man, the Creator, the One Who Lives Above.
California Yokut Creation Story
A Great Flood had occurred upon Earth long, long ago. While Earth was still covered with water, there were no living creatures upon the land. Then out of the sky one day glided an enormous Eagle, with a black Crow riding upon its back, searching for a place to light. Around and around Eagle flew until he discovered a projecting tree stump, or what appeared to be a stump, upon which he landed to rest. There was a home at last upon the flat surface which was amply large enough for Eagle and Crow to roost upon.
Comanche Creation Story
One day the Great Spirit collected swirls of dust from the four directions in order to create the Comanche people. These people formed from the earth had the strength of mighty storms. Unfortunately, a shape-shifting demon was also created and began to torment the people. The Great Spirit cast the demon into a bottomless pit. To seek revenge the demon took refuge in the fangs and stingers of poisonous creatures and continues to harm people every chance it gets.”
Washington Chelan Indians
Long, long ago, the Creator, the Great Chief Above, made the world. Then he made the animals and the birds and gave them their names–Coyote, Grizzly Bear, Deer, Fox, Eagle, the four Wolf Brothers, Magpie, Bluejay, Hummingbird, and all the others. When he had finished his work, the Creator called the animal people to him. “I am going to leave you,” he said. “But I will come back. When I come again, I will make human beings. They will be in charge of you.” The Great Chief returned to his home in the sky, and the animal people scattered to all parts of the world.
After the world was created and after the animals, birds, and plants were placed on the surface, Gisoolg caused a bolt of lightening to hit the surface of Ootsitgamoo. This bolt of lightning caused the formation of an image of a human body shaped out of sand. It was Glooscap who was first shaped out of the basic element of the Mik’Maq world, sand. Gisoolg unleashed another bolt of lightening which gave life to Glooscap, but yet he could not move. He was stuck to the ground only to watch the world go by and Nisgam travel across the sky everyday. Glooscap watched the animals, the birds ,and the plants grow and pass around him. He asked Nisgam to give him freedom to move about the Mik’Maq world.
The Telleriano-Remensis and Florentine codices declare that Quetzalcoatl, as great artificer, ‘formed’ and ‘molded’ the first human beings in his image and that only he, and no other god, had a human body.
Aborigine Creation Myth
There was a time when everything was still. All the spirits of the earth were asleep, or almost all. The great Father of All Spirits was the only one awake. Gently he awoke the Sun Mother. As she opened her eyes, a warm ray of light spread out towards the sleeping earth. The Father of All Spirits said to the Sun Mother, “Mother, I have work for you. Go down to the Earth and awake the sleeping spirits. Give them forms.” The Sun Mother glided down to Earth, which was bare at the time and began to walk in all directions and everywhere she walked plants grew. After returning to the field where she had begun her work the Mother rested, well pleased with herself. The Father of All Spirits came and saw her work, but instructed her to go into the caves and wake the spirits.
Of course, the opposite of creation would be destruction. What is interesting to me is that most all religion/beliefs have a flood, much like Noah’s, to cleanse the earth and end the “evil ways” of humanity…
The god Zeus flooded the planet to destroy the men of the Bronze Age. The son of Prometheus, Deucalion was told to build a chest. Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha floated in the chest for nine days and nights and landed on Parnassus. Other stories have the chest landing on Mount Othrys in Thessaly, a peak called Phouka in Nemea, the son of Zeus surviving the flood on the top of Mount Gerania and an earlier flood in the time of Ogyges, King of Thebes.
Jupiter, angered at the evil ways of humanity, decided to flood the earth except the summit of Parnassus, where Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha came by boat and and survived. Jupiter and Mercury, traveling in disguise and begging for food, found no help in Phrygiauntil until they found Philemon and Baucis. They led them to the mountains where they suvived th flood.
Oden, Vili, and Ve slew the great ice giant Ymir and water melting form wounds drowned most of the Rime Giants. The giant Bergelmir, with his wife and children, survived on a boat.
Heaven and Earth were giants. Their son cut Heaven into many pieces. His blood caused a great flood which killed all men except a single pair, who were saved in a ship.
A lake burst, flooding all lands. Dwyfan and Dwyfach survived in a mastless ship with pairs of every living creature and landed in Prydain, now Britain.
The god Pramzimas sent two giants, Wandu and Wejas, to flood the earth. Some people and animals, including an elderly couple, survived the flood floating in the nutshell. After the flood, Pramzimas sent the rainbow as comfort.
A louse and a flea caused all life to be drowned in a flood.
After a dispute between Iskender-Iulcarni (Alexander the Great), and Katife, Queen of Smyrna, Iskender-Iulcarni decided to drown the queen in a great flood.
There are a great many creations stories, many of which can be found on the internet. I found it was easy to loacte them by looking at myth, beliefs, etc. of certain cultures and tribes. The resources are too vast to list – but all are very interesting.
Links toMore Creation and Origin Myths
- The Making of the Earth.
- Languages Confused on a Mountain.
- Order of Life and Death.
- Why People Die Forever.
- The First Marriage.
- Old Man Leads a Migration.
- Old Man and the Great Spirit.
- How the World Was Made.
- The Creation (Igorot).
- How the Moon and the Stars Came to Be (Bukidnon).
- Origin (Bagobo).
- The Story of the Creation (Bilaan).
- In the Beginning (Bilaan).
- The Children of the Limokon (Mandaya).
- The Creation Story (Tagalog).
- Abstracted from The Metamorphoses of Ovid.
Kabyl Creation and Origin Myths. The Kabyl people belong to the Berbers of North Africa. They are native to the Djurdjura Mountains of Algeria.
- The First Human Beings.
- The Beginning of Agriculture.
- In what might be called the most recent of all creation myths, the Raelians outline here their belief that “scientists from another planet created all life on earth using DNA.”
- The creation according to The First Book of Moses, called Genesis.
- The Origin of the Wrekin (England).
- Bomere Pool (England).
- The Origin of Tis Lake (Denmark).
- Gefion Creates the Island of Zealand (Denmark, from The Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson).
- Gefion Creates the Island of Zealand (Denmark, from the Ynglinga Saga of Snorri Sturluson).
- The Origin of the Island Hiddensee (Germany).
The Origin of Underground People. Legends about elves and other hidden creatures.
- Origin of the Hidden People (Iceland).
- Origin of the Underground People in Amrum (Germany).
- Origin of the Spirits of the Erzgebirge Mountains (Germany/Bohemia).
- When Satan Was Cast out of Heaven (Sweden).
Written & Compiled by Kytka Hilmar-Jezek, Ph.D., Ask Kytka Archives: December 1, 2002 Copyright © 1996-2012