Haudenosaunee Creation Story


Long, long ago, where we are now, there was no land—just water and creatures of the water. But up above, there was a place called Garuge, or Sky World. In Sky World, there were beings who were in some ways like human beings and in some ways different. The beings in Sky World had more powers than human beings. For instance, they could make things happen just by thinking about it.

Note: No time – Direct manifestation 4th dimension?

There was a tree growing in the center of Sky World. It was called the Tree of Life. On that tree grew many different kinds of fruit. Also, there were blossoms on that tree, and those blossoms glowed, lighting up Sky World.

Note: Tree of Life refers to another dimension – it’s not 3rd dimension.

The beings in Sky World were told not to disturb that tree. But one day, a woman who was expecting a baby asked for a drink of tea made from the roots of the Tree of Life. Her name was Ajijigayan, which means Mature Flower. When her husband started to dig around the bottom of the tree to get at the roots, the dirt caved in, and some say the tree fell down. This was terrible.

The woman went to see what happened, and some say she lost her balance and fell into the hole. Some say she knew she was destined to go through that hole and so she jumped. Some say that she was pushed. Nevertheless, she grabbed some seeds from the Tree of Life as she fell. Because she fell through the hole in the sky, many people refer to her as Sky Woman.

Note: Reference to a portal?

Down below, there was a flock of water birds flying through the air. Some say they were geese, some say they were blue heron, and some say they were swans. One of them looked up and saw Sky Woman falling. He spoke to the other birds, and they decided to make a great blanket with their bodies to catch her on their backs. They caught her and tried to bring her back up to Sky World, but she was too heavy, so they lowered her down to the water below.

Note: Reminds me of other creation stories where the celestial become ‘too heavy ‘ (or physical) to go back to the ‘other world’

A giant turtle said they could put her on his back, and that’s what they did. That is the reason some people call this place where we live Turtle Island. Sky Woman thanked the creatures, but she said she needed dirt in order to survive. One by one, the animals dove down to try to get dirt from under the water. Finally, some say it was the muskrat, some say it was the otter, but one creature was successful in bringing a few grains of dirt to Sky Woman. She placed the dirt on the back of the turtle, stood up, and sang and danced in a counterclockwise direction. As she did that, the turtle shell grew, and the grains of dirt multiplied.

Note: Why would this (counterclockwise) be relevant? Does it refer to a wind or planetery trajectory?

She dropped the seeds from the Tree of Life, and they started to grow right away. When she finished dancing and singing, there was land and plant life as far as she could see.

Some time went by, and Sky Woman gave birth to a baby girl. The baby girl grew up, and she was told not to walk toward the west. But one day, the daughter started to walk toward the west. As soon as she did so, a wind started to blow from the west, and a cloud started to move toward the daughter. The daughter saw the outline of a male being in the cloud, and she fainted. When she woke up, she found two crossed arrows lying on top of her stomach. She had become the bride of the Spirit of the West Wind. That’s who she had seen in the clouds, and now she was going to give birth to twin boys.

Adam stories: woman gives birth to twins black/white or male/female

Those boys were very special. After all, their grandmother was Sky Woman, and their father was the Spirit of the West Wind. The boys could talk to each other while they were growing inside their mother, and they didn’t always agree with one another.

When it was time for them to be born, the right-handed twin was born in the usual way. However, the left-handed twin decided to push his way through the mother’s armpit, and that’s how he was born. But it killed their mother. They buried their mother, and from her head grew corn, beans, and squash—staple foods of the traditional Haudenosaunee diet, called the Three Sisters.

Note: What type of quality here makes place for another quality?

From her heart grew sacred tobacco, used to communicate with the Creator. From her feet grew the wild strawberry, known as the Big Medicine. Even in her death, the mother of the two boys ensured they had what they needed to survive. She is called Mother Earth, and to this day, she supports all the people, animals, and plants.

The twin boys grew up and went about the task of creating everything found in the natural world. They made the rivers, flowers, animals, and eventually, human beings. The left-handed twin became the Keeper of the Night, and the right-handed twin became the Keeper of the Day. When they were done making their creations, everything was in perfect balance.

When Sky Woman passed away, her head was flung into the sky. She is still there, called Grandmother Moon. She reflects light at night, helps the people keep track of time, controls the rise and fall of waters, and keeps company with the stars and the left-handed twin, the Keeper of the Night.

Note: Again here the moon apears after the creation of live on earth

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