Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Creation Stories


Tao is the nameless void, the mother of the Ten Thousand Things. Tao is considered by Laozi to be that which eternally gives without being depleted, and eternally receives without being filled. That which does not exist for its own sake is able to endure.

This is the only original Taoist idea about the origins of everything. All of the following myths were added at much later dates to the original core Taoist writings and only came into existence as Taoist philosophy became more structured, religious and therefore a need for a more detailed cosmology grew among its adherents. Even today there are two main traditions of Taoism: the religious tradition with its more detailed cosmology and the original philosophical tradition which does not accept any creation myths at all.

Taoist genesis appeared in two versions. The first Division-Genesis in Tao Te Ching and partially in I Ching described out of tao- nothingness or Wuji gave rise to existence Taichi, this existence splitting into the binary yin and yang, yin and yang splitting into the four realms and then the Eight countenance, and from which every beings or non-beings are created.

The myth of Pangu around 200 CE describes a universe which starts as a cosmic egg with Pangu born within. He broke it into two halves, and came out of it. Panqu was a man in a bearskin, and he had two horns. He separated Yin and Yang and turned them into heaven and earth. He himself was the center, standing on earth and supporting heaven. With hammer and chisel he produced sun, moon, and stars. In doing this, he grew a little bit every day. When the work was finished, Pangu died to make the world live. His voice became the thunder, his limbs the four quarters of the earth. His flesh became the earth, his hair the trees, his sweat the rain, his bones the stones. Finally, men were the insects which were crawling over his body. This was an allegorical version of the Division-Genesis.

Despite the fact that this tale is accepted as a legacy of ancient China, it is probable that is was imported from South East Asia. However, it is usually ascribed to Ko Hung, Taoist writer of the fourth century CE, who also wrote on the preparation of an elixir of life, and similar subjects. He also wrote Biographies of Spirits and Immortals, which is a prime source of mythological material. This clearly places it at a much later date than the core Taoist writings.

A second version with metaphysical reference was given in a late 20th century book called Tiantang Yiuchi in which genesis was detailed, that out of Tao or Wuji came a non-being called Xuanxuan Shangren (玄玄上人) who hatched into the Three Pure Ones the Daoist Trinity and then the Five Supremes. Three of the Five Supremes incubated the first man and woman as well as all living beings.


Ancient Finns believed that the world was formed from an egg that was broken.

A bird was flying above the sea, seeking a place to make a nest and lay her eggs. She searched everywhere, but found nothing but water. Then she noticed the first dry place. In some stories it was an island, in other stories it was a boat and in other stories it was a body part of a floating being, like the wizard Väinämöinen. The place was too unstable for a nest: a big wave came and broke the eggs, spreading their parts all over. However the eggs were not wasted: the upper part of egg covers formed the sky, yolk became the sun, and lower parts of egg formed the mother earth. The first human was Väinämöinen, he was born from the maiden of air Ilmatar that was made pregnant by the sea. Väinämöinen ordered forests to be planted, and started human culture.
Plato, in his dialogue Timaeus, describes a creation myth involving a being called the demiurge.

Hesiod, in his Theogony, says that Chaos existed in the beginning, and then gave birth to Gaea (the Earth), Tartarus (the Underworld), Eros (desire), Nyx (the darkness of the night) and Erebus (the darkness of the Underworld). Gaea brought forth Ouranos, the starry sky, her equal, to cover her, the hills, and the fruitless deep of the Sea, Pontus, "without sweet union of love," out of her own self. But afterwards, Hesiod tells, she lay with Heaven and bore the World-Ocean Oceanus, Coeus and Crius and the Titans Hyperion and Iapetus, Theia and Rhea, Themis and Mnemosyne and Phoebe of the golden crown and lovely Tethys. "After them was born Cronos the wily, youngest and most terrible of her children, and he hated his lusty sire." Cronos, at Gaia's urging, castrates Uranus. He marries Rhea who bears him Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. Zeus and his brothers overthrow Cronos and the other Titans, then draw lots to determine what each of them will rule. Zeus draws the sky, Poseidon draws the sea, and Hades draws the underworld. The Earth was contested and no one of them had absolute sovereignty over it, as shown by Poseidon's anger when Zeus forced him to leave the battlefield in the Iliad.


The Voluspa opens with the Norse account of the creation of the present universe :

Old tales I remember | of men long ago. I remember yet | the giants of lore [...] Of old was the age | when Ymir lived; No Sea nor cool waves | nor sand there were; Earth had not been, | nor heaven above, Only a yawning gap, | and grass nowhere.

In the beginning there was nothing except for the ice of Niflheim, to the north, and the fire of Muspelheim, to the south. Between them was a yawning gap (the phrase is sometimes left untranslated as a proper name: Ginnungagap), and in this gap a few pieces of ice met a few sparks of fire. The ice melted to form Eiter, which formed the bodies of the hermaphrodite giant Ymir and the cow Auðumbla, whose milk fed Ymir. Auðumbla fed by licking the rime ice, and slowly she uncovered a man's hair. After a day, she had uncovered his face. After another day, she had uncovered him completely: Búri.

Ymir fathered Thrudgelmir, as well as two humans, one man and one woman. Búri fathered Borr. Borr had three sons, Vili, Ve, and Odin, who killed the giant Ymir. In the vast flood of Ymir's blood, both the primordial man and woman died. Thrudgelmir was also drowned, although not before he had fathered Bergelmir. Bergelmir hid in a hollow tree trunk and survived. Odin and his brothers used Ymir's body to create the universe : they ground his flesh into dirt, and the maggots that appeared in his flesh became the dwarves that live under the earth. His bones became the mountains, and Odin strew his brains into the sky to create the clouds. The universe comprises nine worlds, of which this earth (Mannheim) is central.

They placed the four dwarves Nordri (North), Sudri (South), Austri (East), and Vestri (West) to hold up Ymir's skull and create the heavens. Then using sparks from Muspelheim, the gods created the sun, moon and stars. As Odin and two others (the Eddas say Hœnir and Lóðurr, these are thought to be kennings for Vili and Ve) walked along the beach, they found two pieces of driftwood. From these, they created the 'first' human beings (the previous two having drowned in the flood of Ymir's blood), Ask and Embla. Ymir's eyebrows were used to create a place where the human race could live in; a place called Midgard.

The gods regulated the passage of the days and nights, as well as the seasons. Sol is the goddess of the sun, a daughter of Mundilfari, and wife of Glen. Every day, she rides through the sky on her chariot, pulled by two horses named Arvak and Alsvid. This passage is known as Alfrodull, meaning "glory of elves," which in turn was a common kenning for the sun. Sol is chased during the day by Skoll, a wolf that wants to devour her. Solar eclipses signify that Skoll has almost caught up to her. (It is fated that Skoll will eventually catch Sol and eat her at the end of the world; however, she will be replaced by her daughter.) Sol's brother, the moon Mani, is chased by Hati, another wolf. The earth is protected from the full heat of the sun by the dwarf Svalin, who stands between the earth and Sol. The flaming manes of Arvak and Alsvid provide the light for the earth.
In Hindu philosophy, the existence of the universe is governed by the Trimurti of Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Sustainer) and Shiva (the Destroyer). The sequence of Avatars of Vishnu - the Dasavatara (Sanskrit: Dasa—ten, Avatara—divine descents) is generally accepted by most Hindus today as correlating well with Darwin's theory of evolution i.e. the first Avatar generating from the environment of water. Hindus believe that the universe was created from the Word (Aum/OM : ॐ) - the sacred sound uttered by every human being at the time of birth. The first five great elements or Panchamahabhuta (Sanskrit: Pancha—five + Maha—great + Bhuta—elements) are: Akasha, Vayu, Agni, Ap, and Prithvi.

Hindus believe that the cycle of creation, preservation, and destruction has no beginning, Anadi. Hindus thus do not see much conflict between creation and evolution. Another reason for this could also be the Hindu concept of cyclic time, such as yugas, or days of Brahma. A day of Brahma lasts 4.32 billion years and the night of Brahma also lasts for 4.32 billion years. Days and nights follow in cycles (unlike the concept of linear time in many other religions). In fact, time is represented as Kālá Chakra, the wheel of time.

In earlier Vedic thinking, the universe emanated from a cosmic egg, Hiranyagarbha (literally, 'the golden embryo'). Prajapati was born from the Hiranyagarbha world egg. Prajapati was later identified in the Puranas with the Demiurge Brahma. Various devas are credited with certain acts of the process of creation, as personified entities representing the laws governing the universe. For instance, the act of propping apart the Sky and the Earth suggests early ideas of an expanding universe. The Purusha Sukta hymn of Rig Veda further personifies and describes the story of the creation of the universe from the remains of a gigantic primaeval Cosmic Man, Purusha, sacrificed at the Purushamedha yajna.

In Hinduism, nature and all of God's creations are manifestations of Him. He is within and without His creations, pervading the entire universe and also observing it externally. Hence all animals and humans have a divine element in them that is covered by the ignorance and illusions of material or mundane existence, as a result of avidya (ignorance).

Several scholars have attempted breaking the code of cosmogenesis of the Rig Veda. According to Rig Veda, creation happened gradually. The universe in its primitive form was made up of Ishwar Tattva, which primarily spread homogeneously throughout the universe. The complete equilibrium and homogeneity, when broke, arose an inhomogenous state of the primordial fluid, Ap. With the transformation of undifferentiated primordial fluid into differentiated fluid through polarization of opposites, the universe moved from a homogenous to inhomogenous state when particles were formed first.


The Sumerian creation myth, the oldest known, was found on a fragmentary clay tablet known as the "Eridu Genesis", datable to ca. the 18th century BC. It also includes a flood myth.

Where the tablet picks up, the gods An, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursanga create the Sumerians (the "black-headed people") and the animals. Then kings descend from the sky and the first cities are founded - Eridu, Bad-tibira, Larsa, Sippar, and Shuruppak.

After a missing section in the tablet, we learn that the gods have decided to send a flood to destroy humankind. Zi-ud-sura, the king and gudug priest, learns of this. (In the later Akkadian version, Ea, or Enki in Sumerian, the god of the waters, warns the hero (Atra-hasis in this case) and gives him instructions for the ark. This is missing in the Sumerian fragment, but a mention of Enki taking counsel with himself suggests that this is Enki's role in the Sumerian version as well.)

When the tablet resumes it is describing the flood. A terrible storm rocks the huge boat for seven days and seven nights, then Utu (the Sun god) appears and Zi-ud-sura creates an opening in the boat, prostrates himself, and sacrifices oxen and sheep.

After another break the text resumes, the flood is apparently over, the animals disembark and Zi-ud-sura prostrates himself before An (sky-god) and Enlil (chief of the gods), who give him eternal life and take him to dwell in Dilmun for "preserving the animals and the seed of mankind". The remainder of the poem is lost.
The Babylonian creation myth is recounted in the "Epic of Creation" also known as the Enûma Elish. The Mesopotamian "Epic of Creation" dates to the late second millennium B.C.E.

In the poem, the god Marduk (or Assur in the Assyrian versions of the poem) is created to defend the divine beings from an attack plotted by the ocean goddess Tiamat. The hero Marduk offers to save the gods only if he is appointed their supreme unquestioned leader and is allowed to remain so even after the threat passes. The gods agree to Marduk's terms. Marduk challenges Tiamat to combat and destroys her. He then rips her corpse into two halves with which he fashions the earth and the skies. Marduk then creates the calendar, organizes the planets, stars and regulates the moon, sun, and weather. The gods pledge their allegiance to Marduk and he creates Babylon as the terrestrial counterpart to the realm of the gods. Marduk then destroys Tiamat's husband, Kingu using his blood to create humankind so that they can do the work of the gods.
There were at least three separate cosmogenies in Egyptian mythology, corresponding to at least three separate groups of worshippers.
The Ennead, in which Atum arose from the primordial waters (Neith), and masturbated to relieve his loneliness. His semen and breath became Tefnut (moisture) and Shu (dryness), respectively. From Shu and Tefnut, were born Geb (earth), and Nut (sky), who were born in a state of permanent copulation. Shu separated them, and their children were Ausare (Osiris; death), Set (desert), Aset (Isis; life), and Nebet Het (Nephthys; fertile land). Osiris and Isis were a couple, as were Nepthys and Set.
The Ogdoad, in which Ra arose, either in an egg, or a blue lotus, as a result of the creative interaction between the primordial forces of Nu/Naunet (water), Amun/Amunet (air), Kuk/Kauket (darkness), and Huh/Hauhet (eternity). Ra then created Hathor, his wife, with whom they had a son, Hor (Horus; in the form known as Horus the Elder), who was married to Isis. This cosmogeny also includes Anupu (Anubis) as lord of the dead, amongst others.
The third group, for whom Ptah was eternal and everlasting, and he spake the world and all the gods into existence, in a similar manner to Judaeo-Christian belief about their concept of God.

Over time, the rival groups gradually merged, Ra and Atum were identified as the same god, making Atum's mysterious creation actually due to the Ogdoad, and Ra having the children Shu and Tefnut, etc. In consequence, Anubis was identified as a son of Osiris, as was Horus. Amun's role was later thought much greater, and for a time, he became chief god, although he eventually became considered a manifestation of Ra.

For a time, Ra and Horus were identified as one another, and when the Aten monotheism was unsuccessfully introduced, it was Ra-Horus who was thought of as the Aten, and the consequent cosmogony this inspired. Later, Osiris' cult became more popular, and he became the main god, being identified as a form of Ptah. Eventually, all the gods were thought of as aspects of Osiris, Isis, Horus, or Set (who was by now a villain), indeed, Horus and Osiris had started to become thought of as the same god. Ptah eventually was identified as Osiris.

A late version of the narrative has it that the Supreme Being (God) was Atum-Raa and he uttered the words of creation to create the Primordial water of Nu (The celestial Ocean) Naunet. Naunet contained everything in embrionic form. From this, Atum-Raa uttered the words of creation to bring life into the world. This life took the form of an egg. From this egg came Raa, the light of God who caused all life to come into existence. Raa was represented by the Egyptian solar disk (also symbolised in Nordic, Germanic, Greek & Vedic tradition by a Sun chariot as well as referenced by biblical texts Elijah (prophet)). Raa, the light of God in nature, later became manifest on earth through the disc of the sun (eten) & appeared in the form of Dosher - the sunrise at the beginning of life on earth.

In Hermeticism, the origin belief is not taken literally, but an attempt is made to understand it metaphorically. Not all Hermeticists understand it in the same way, and it is mainly up to personal understanding. The tale is given in the first book of the Corpus Hermeticum by God's Nous to Hermes Trismegistus after much meditation. Also, not all Hermeticists put much weight on the symbolic texts, and may be unaware of the story.

It begins as God creates the elements after seeing the Cosmos and creating one just like it (our Cosmos) from its own constituent elements and souls. From there, God, being both male and female, holding the Word, gave birth to a second Nous, creator of the world. This second Nous created seven powers (often seen as Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Sun and the Moon) to travel in circles and govern destiny.

The Word then leaps forth from the materializing elements, which made them unintelligent. Nous then made the governors spin, and from their matter sprang forth creatures without speech. Earth then was separated from Water and the animals (other than Man) were brought forth from the Earth.

The Supreme Nous then created Man, hermaphroditic, in his own image and handed over his creation. Man carefully observed the creation of his brother, the lesser Nous, and received his and his Father's authority over it all. Man then rose up above the spheres' paths to better view the creation, and then showed the form of God to Nature. Nature fell in love with it, and Man, seeing a similar form to his own reflecting in the water fell in love with Nature and wished to dwell in it. Immediately Man became one with Nature and became a slave to its limitations such as gender and sleep. Man thus became speechless (for it lost the Word) and became double, being mortal in body but immortal in spirit, having authority of all but subject to destiny.

The tale does not specifically contradict the theory of evolution, other than for Man, but most Hermeticists fully accept evolutionary theory as a solid grounding for the creation of everything from base matter to Man
The creation narrative of Islam is split among many verses in the Qur'an. This narrative is similar to the Judeo-Christian accounts of creation. According to the Qur'an, the skies and the earth were joined together as one "unit of creation", after which they were "cloved asunder" [17]. After the parting of both, they simultaneously came into their present shape after going through a phase when they were smoke-like [18]. The Qur'an states that the process of creation took 6 days or epochs (depending on the interpretation).

The Qur'an states that God created the world and the cosmos, made all the creatures that walk, swim, crawl, and fly on the face of the earth from water [17]. He made the angels, and the sun, moon and the stars to dwell in the universe. He poured down the rain in torrents, and broke up the soil to bring forth the corn, the grapes and other vegetation; the olive and the palm, the fruit trees and the grass.

God molded clay, earth, sand and water into a model of a man. He breathed life and power into it, and it immediately sprang to life. And this first man was called Adam. God took Adam to live in Paradise. In Paradise, God created Eve (or Hawa), the first woman, from out of Adam's side. God taught Adam the names of all the creatures, and then commanded all the angels to bow down before Adam. But Iblis, one amongst the Jinns (a special being in the Qur'an - who is also considered to be Satan), refused to do this, and thus began to disobey God's will.

God placed the couple in a beautiful garden in Paradise, telling them that they could eat whatever they wanted except the fruit of a forbidden tree. But Iblis (Satan) tempted them to disobey God, and eat the fruit. When God knew that Adam and Eve had disobeyed him, he cast them out of Paradise.

The Judeo-Christian accounts of creation have their basis in the Book of Genesis; beliefs regarding creation differ among Judeo-Christian groups, both today and in the past. The grammar of the opening verse of Genesis is ambiguous, and can be read as either "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth was without form, and void..." (King James Version), or, equally valid, as "At the beginning of the making of heaven and earth, when the earth was unformed and void..."(Rashi, and with variations Ibn Ezra and Bereshith Rabba). The second reading, which supposes a pre-existing cosmos which God uses as the raw material for his work, is preferred by most scholars on a number of grounds: the phrase "heaven and earth", for example, is a set phrase in Hebrew denoting "everything," and the word commonly translated as "created" (in "God created the Heavens and the earth") is commonly associated with molding something from already-existing raw material.

Genesis has two creation narratives. In the first (Genesis 1:1-2:3), God progressively creates facets of the world during each day of a 7-day week. Creation is by divine command: God says "Let there be light!" and light is created. Mankind (the Hebrew implies the simultaneous creation of male and female, and leaves open the possibility of more than a single pair)[citation needed] is created after the entire world is prepared for them; they are created in the "image" of God, which probably carried the meaning that mankind was to be God's representative on earth, with dominion and care over all other created things. The final day marks the sanctification of the Sabbath as a day sacred to God. The second story (Genesis 2:4-25) is in one sense an aetiology of the origins of morality: it begins with the creation of man and woman (separately - unlike the first story, one of the themes of the second is the origin of marriage and of male dominion over the female) in God's garden of Eden; Adam and Eve live in harmony with God until they gain "knowledge of good and evil" (the Hebrew is another set phrase, meaning "knowledge of everything" rather than strictly moral knowledge) and are expelled from God's presence into the fallen world.

There is no single or comprehensive cosmology in the Hebrew bible, so that it is difficult to state with any degree of confidence just what the world created by the Hebrew God looked like. The Book of Job mentions the pillars that support the earth, the foundations for the world, the "gate" which closes the sea and marks its boundary, the celestial storerooms of the snow and hail, and the channels through which the rain to pours out of the heavens (which are plural - other Biblical verses make clear that there are three heavens, with the stars being set in one and Yahweh having His throne above the highest).

2 Peter implies belief in a Hebraic word-created, geocentric cosmos: "by the word of God the heavens were of old, the earth standing out of the water and in the water," this being the waters of chaos which filled the entire cosmos[citation needed]. Christianity's major innovation was the doctrine of creation ex nihilo, creation "out of nothing". The Church of the first few centuries AD, writing and thinking in Greek rather than Hebrew, and drawing heavily on Greek philosophical ideas as transmitted by the Philo of Alexandria (a 1st century BC Jewish thinker who tried to reconcile Judaism with Platonism), the Church lost the ambiguity of the Hebrew text and replaced it with Greek clarity and "In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth" became the accepted reading of Genesis 1 for both Christians and Jews.

The Church was not, however, literalist, and Biblical commentators throughout the ages discussed the degree to which the accounts of Creation were to be taken literally or allegorically. Maimonides, in particular, commented that the account of Creation should not be taken literally.
The Zoroastrian story of creation has Ahura Mazda creating 16 lands, one by one, such that each would be delightful to its people. As he finished each one, Angra Mainyu applied a counter-creation, introducing plague and sin of various kinds. The dualistic idea of two primordial spirits, called twins by Zoroaster, goes back to an Indo-European prototype. Although the idea of dualism came from the idea that "god" could not create evil so both evil and good pre-existed before time.

Kiowa Apache

In the beginning nothing existed, 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, Creator, the One Who Lives Above. When he looked into the endless darkness, light appeared above. He looked down and it became a sea of light. To the east, he created yellow streaks of dawn. To the west, tints of many colours appeared everywhere. There were also clouds of different colors. He also created three other gods: a little girl, a sun god and a small boy. Then he created celestial phenomena, the winds, the tarantula, and the earth from the sweat of the four gods mixed together in the Creator's palms, from a small round, brown ball, not much larger than a bean. The world was expanded to its current size by the gods kicking the small brown ball. Creator told Wind to go inside the ball and to blow it up. The tarantula, the trickster character, spun a black cord and, attaching it to the ball, crawled away fast to the east, pulling on the cord with all his strength. Tarantula repeated with a blue cord to the south, a yellow cord to the west, and a white cord to the north. With mighty pulls in each direction, the brown ball stretched to immeasurable size--it became the earth! No hills, mountains, or rivers were visible; only smooth, treeless, brown plains appeared. Then the Creator created the rest of the beings and features of the Earth.
The Elders say that the first Hopi had chosen to live in the barren desert so that they would always need to pray for rain. Thus, they would not lose faith in their ceremonies, which maintain their bond with the Mother Nature and creator. They said that the True Hopi people represent the Red race through the authority vested in them by the Creator, Maasaw.


In the beginning, the world was not as we know it now. It was a water world inhabited only by animals and creatures of the air who could survive without land.

Up above, the Sky World was quite different. Human-type beings lived there with infinite types of plants and animals to enjoy.

In the Sky World, there was a Tree of Life that was very special to the people of the Sky World. They knew that it grew at the entrance to the world below and forbade anyone to tamper with the Tree. One woman who was soon to give birth was curious about the Tree and convinced her brother to uproot the Tree.

Beneath the Tree was a great hole. The woman peered from the edge into the hole and suddenly fell off the edge. As she was falling she grasped at the edge and clutched in her hand some of the earth from the Sky World. As she fell, the birds of the world below were disturbed and alerted to her distress. The birds responded and gathered a great many of their kind to break her fall and cradle her to the back of a great sea turtle. The creatures of the water believed that she needed land to live on, so they set about to collect some for her. They dove to the great depths of the world's oceans to gather earth to make her a place to live. Many of the animals tried to gather the earth from the ocean floor, only the muskrat was successful. With only a small bit of earth brought onto turtle's back from his small paws, Turtle Island began to grow.

The Sky Woman soon gave birth to a daughter on Turtle Island. The daughter grew fast. There were no man-beings on Turtle Island, but a being known as the West Wind married the daughter of Sky Woman.

Soon the daughter of Sky Woman gave birth to Twins. One was born the natural way, and he was called the Right-Handed Twin. The other was born in a way that caused the death of the mother. He was called the Left-Handed Twin. When their mother died, their grandmother, Sky Woman, placed the fistful of earth that she grasped from the edge of the Sky World, and placed it on her daughter's grave. The earth carried special seeds from the Sky World that were nourished by the earth over her daughter. So from the body of her daughter came the Sacred Tobacco, Strawberry and Sweetgrass. We call these Kionhekwa. The Life Givers.

The Right and Left-Handed Twins were endowed with special creative powers. The Right-Handed Twin created gentle hills, beautiful smelling flowers, quiet brooks, butterflies and numerous creatures, plants and earth formations. His brother the Left-Handed Twin made snakes, thorns on rose bushes, thunder and lightning and other more disturbing attributes of today's world. Together, they created man and his many attributes. The Right-Handed Twin believed in diplomacy and conflict resolution. The Left-Handed Twin believed in conflict as resolution. They were very different, but all that they created is an integral part of this Earth's Creation.

Their Grandmother, Sky Woman, now came to the end of her life. When she died, the Twins fought over her body and pulled it apart, throwing her head into the sky. As part of the Sky World, there her head remained to shine upon the world as Grandmother Moon. The Twins could not live together without fighting. They agreed to dwell in different realms of the earth. The Right-Handed Twin continued to live in the daylight and the Left-Handed Twin became a dweller of the night. Both of them continue their special duties to their Mother the Earth.


The Lakota recount in their version of demiurge that the gods lived in the heavens and humans lived in an underworld without culture. Creation was initiated by Inktomi ("spider"), the trickster, who conspired to cause a rift in the heavens between the sun god Takushkanshkan ("something that moves") and his wife, the moon. Their separation marked the creation of time. Some of Inktomi's co-conspirators were exiled to the Earth where the gods of the four winds were scattered and created space.

To populate the Earth, Inktomi traveled to the underworld in the form of a wolf and met with humanity, telling them about a paradisical world aboveground. Inktomi convinced a man named Tokahe ("the first") to travel to the surface for a brief visit. When Tokahe emerged through a cave (Wind Cave in the Black Hills), he found the world to be strikingly beautiful. Returning to the underworld, Tokahe persuaded other families to accompany him to the surface, but upon arrival they discovered that the Earth was full of hardship. Inktomi had by this time prevented humanity from returning below ground, so the families had no choice but to scatter and eke out their livelihoods.

"Holy Supreme Wind" being created by the mists of lights arose through the darkness to animate and bring purpose to the myriad Holy People, supernatural and sacred in the different three lower worlds. All these things were spiritually created in the time before the earth existed and the physical aspect of man did not exist yet, but the spiritual did. In the first world the insect people started fighting with one another and were instructed by the Holy People to depart. They journeyed to the second world and lived for a time in peace. Eventually they fought with each other and were instructed to depart. In the third world the same thing happens again and they are forced to journey to the fourth world. In the fourth world, they found the Hopi living there and succeeded in not fighting with one another or their neighbors, and their bodies were transformed from the insect forms to human forms. First man and First woman physically appear in the narrative here by being formed from ears of white and yellow corn, but they were also created back in the beginning. There is a separation of male and female humans because each did not appreciate the contributions of the other, and this laid the ground work for the appearance of the Monsters that would start to kill off the people in the next world. Coyote, the trickster, also appears and steals the baby of water monster, who brings a great flood in the third world which primarily forces the humans as well as Holy People to journey to the surface of the fifth world through a hollow reed. Some things are left behind and some things are brought to help the people re-create the world each time they entered a new one. Death and the Monsters are born into this world as is Changing Woman who gives birth to the Hero Twins, called "Monster Slayer" and "Child of the Waters" who had many adventures in which they helped to rid the world of much evil. Earth Surface People, mortals, were created in the fourth world, and the gods gave them ceremonies, which are still practiced today.
The Maya of Mesoamerica creation story is recounted in the book "Popol Vuh". Tepeu and Gucamatz came together to create the world. Whatever was thought of by Tepeu and Gucamatz came into being. Next for creation are the creatures of the forest: birds, deer, jaguars and snakes. They are told to multiply and scatter, and then to speak and "pray to us". But the animals just squawk and howl. So Tepeu and Gucumatz try to make some respectful creatures from mud. But the results are not great, and they allow the new race to be washed away. They call upon their grandparents, who suggest wood as an appropriate medium. But the wooden people are just mindless robots, so Tepeu and Gucumatz set about the destruction of this new race by means of a rain-storm. This causes the animals to turn against the wooden people; even their pots and querns rebel, and crush the peoples' faces. The wooden people escape to the forests and are turned into monkeys. Heart-of-Sky then make yet another attempt at creating a suitably respectful race, and finally succeed by fashioning humans out of maize-corn dough.

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