Listen to the Creation Story (Audio version!)
The Creation Story of our people is based on a world quite different from our world today. The creation story has been handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth since our people had no written language. Keep in mind that there are many variations of the story.
In the beginning there was no world, no land, and no people. But there was water as far as the eye could see. High above this world there was a Sky-World. The people who lived here were Onkweshona who were similar to humans.
In this Sky-World there was a man and his wife who was expecting a child. In the middle of the Sky-World grew a Great Tree. It grew many kinds of leaves and fruits. The husband was supposed to stop anyone from harming or taking anything from the tree. The wife had a craving for the bark of the tree. She kept bugging her husband, and even though he knew it was wrong he gave in to her wishes.
The husband dug a hole near the roots of the sacred tree, but he would not get the bark for his wife. She came closer to the hole in the ground of the Sky-World and saw water beneath. She bent over to get a closer look, and as she was grabbing to get the bark of the roots she fell through. As she was falling, she managed to grab some of the roots of the tree.
The woman fell towards the water below. The water birds saw her falling and they flew to catch her on their backs.
Some of the birds flew down to ask the great turtle if she could rest on its back. He said OK. And she was gently placed on his back. The beings in the sky world chose to ignore what was happening below.
The woman asked for the help of the water animals. She told them if they could get dirt she would be able to plant some of the roots she had brought from the Sky-World. Many animals tried; finally it was the muskrat’s turn. He dove into the water and they all waited. After a while his body floated to the top. But he had a crumb of earth in each paw.
The woman placed the dirt on the middle of the turtle’s back. Then the woman began to walk in a circle in the direction of the sun. The earth began to grow.
She continued to walk and walk until she could walk no more. She gave birth to a daughter. They continued to walk and to form turtle island. One day the younger woman fainted. When she awoke there were two arrows placed on her chest. She and her mother continued to walk. They knew that she would bear a child.
The daughter was expecting twins. They argued in their mother’s body as to how they should be born. The right-handed twin wanted to be born the right way. The left-handed twin said no, he came out of his mother’s armpit and killed her. The other twin was born the normal way as all children are born. They buried their mother and from her grave they grew corn, beans and squash. From her heart grew tobacco.
The grandmother raised the twins. The twins had powers to create things. The right-handed twin created the plants and medicines that were beautiful and helpful. The left-handed twin made the created thorns and poisonous plants.
The right-handed twin made the animals that would be prey, and the left handed twin made the animals that would be their predators.
In time the twins became men. They had contest against each other, they played the peach pit game, and they had a lacrosse game and even a battle with clubs. There was no winner. They had a final battle and the left-handed twin was killed. The right-handed twin returned home and the grandmother became angry. In his anger he grabbed her and cut her head off and threw it into the sky.
The right-handed twin lives in the Sky-World and he watches over his favorite people the Onkwehonwe.
The left-handed twin lives on the earth and he gets enjoyment from seeing people fighting in wars.
The Creation Story has been told many times throughout our history.
. . . And will continue to be told for many more generations to come.