Comparing The Earth On Turtle's Back, When Grizzlies Walked Upright, And The Navajo Origin Legend

1656 words - 7 pages

Comparing The Earth on Turtle's Back, When Grizzlies Walked Upright, And the Navajo Origin Legend

When this world came to being, there was no single explanation of its
origin. Many Native American tribes and other religious groups
throughout the world created their own origin or creation myths for
the earth on a whole or just the people of the earth. The basis of
these myths was cultural and social beliefs of the many different
tribes around the world. The Earth on Turtle's Back, When Grizzlies
Walked Upright, and The Navajo Origin Legend are the three creation
myths by the Onondaga, the Modoc, and the Navajo. Each of these myths
are by far original and different, yet at the same time share many of
the customs, attitudes, and beliefs of each of the individual groups,
which were revealed to us throughout the stories. Origin Legends not
only teach how a natural aspect of the world came to being, but also
dives into the soul of the tribe that created a specific legend. If
read closely enough, so much can be learned about the lifestyle of a
whole group of people, from a single myth.

The Earth on Turtle's Back is created by the Onondaga, from Northeast
Woodlands. This myth portrays many beliefs and attitudes that are
found in the Onondaga culture. No customs could be picked up from this
myth because the legend did not go in depth describing whether a
social or individual, idea or action was repeated over a period of
time. This myth reveals to us that these people are hard-working and
find joy in helping others, rather than being self-centered. When the
animals noticed that a lady was falling from the sky, the swans
immediately flew up to her rescue. The people of the tribe are
knowledgeable and keep an understanding of all types of people or
creatures that may surround them; also, having an understanding on how
to assist them when needed. Noticing right from the start that the
lady that fell from the sky did not have webbed feet told the animals
that they needed to find land for her to rest on, which could only be
brought from the bottom of the ocean. They believe that everyone can
make a difference, no matter how big or small; which can be seen when
the small Muskrat was the only one who never gave up and made it to
the bottom of the sea. Women were given much respect; they were not
only given the power to give birth to people, but also gave birth to
the earth. Sacrifice, shown by the turtle was a great example of
cooperation and team work even if their may not be personal gain from

When Grizzlies Walked Upright is an origin legend created by the
Modoc. From the context of the myth, it can be seen that the Modoc
gave great importance to nature and wildlife. Even at times of
conflict, the myth does not jump out and yell in your face that there
is trouble. It is written in a...

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