The Origin of Earth

 

 

 

Tuskegee

 

 

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Before the beginning, water was everywhere. But no people, animals, or earth were visible.
There were birds, however, who held a council to decide if it might be best to have all land or all water. "Let us have land, so we can have more food," said some of the birds. Others said, "Let's have all water, because we like it this way."
Subsequently, they appointed Eagle as their Chief who was to decide one way or the other. Eagle decided upon land and asked, "Who will go and search for land?"
Dove volunteered first and flew away. In four days he completed his hunt and returned, reporting, "I could not find land anywhere."
Crawfish came swimming along and was asked by the council to help search for land. He disappeared under the water for four days. When he arose to the surface again, he held some dirt in his claws. He had found some land deep in the water.
Crawfish made a ball of the dirt and handed it to Chief Eagle, who then flew away with it. Four days later he returned and said to the council, "Now there is land, an island has been formed — follow me!"
The whole bird colony flew after Eagle to see the new land, though it was a very small island. Gradually, the land began to grow larger and larger as the water became lower and lower. More islands appeared and these grew together, creating larger islands into one earth.

 

Tuskegee Indians say they were chosen by the Great Spirit to be the first people to live upon the new earth, a long, long time ago.

 

 

Here is the Turtle Island creation story, which is shared among many tribes. It should also be noted that, according to Hindu tradition, the Earth rides on the back of a giant turtle.

Sky-woman fell down from the sky world, trailing in her hands seeds from the Tree of Light. Two loons caught her on the wing and brought her down to rest on Turtle's back. One creature after another followed Sky-woman and dived down, vainly seeking earth.

At last, Little Muskrat floated to the surface. He was dead, but clutched in his paws were bits of earth. This earth was spread over Turtle's back where became the home for the first mother. There, she planted the seeds from the sky world and started new life on Turtle Island, which we now call North America.