is the creation story of Ngiyaampaa country, as well as the land
belonging to Eaglehawk and Crow. Now long, long time ago of course, in
the beginning, when there was no people, no trees, no plants whatever
on this land, "Guthi-guthi", the spirit of our ancestral being, he
lived up in the sky. So he came down and he wanted to create the
special land for people and animals and birds to live in. So
Guthi-guthi came down and he went on creating the land for the people -
after he'd set the borders in place and the sacred sights, the birthing
places of all the Dreamings, where all our Dreamings were to come out
put one foot on Gunderbooka Mountain and another one at Mount Grenfell.
And he looked out over the land and he could see that the land was
bare. There was no water in sight, there was nothing growing. So
Guthi-guthi knew that trapped in a mountain - Mount Minara - the water
serpent, Weowie, he was trapped in the mountain. So Guthi-guthi called
out to him, "Weowie, Weowie", but because Weowie was trapped right in
the middle of the mountain, he couldn't hear him. Guthi-guthi went back
up into the sky and he called out once more, "Weowie", but once again
Weowie didn't respond. So Guthi-guthi came down with a roar like
thunder and banged on the mountain and the mountain split open.
the water serpent came out. And where the water serpent traveled he
made waterholes and streams and depressions in the land. So once all
that was finished, of course, Weowie went back into the mountain to
live and that's where Weowie lives now, in Mount Minara. But then after
that, they wanted another lot of water to come down from the north,
throughout our country. Old Pundu, the Cod, it was his duty to drag and
create the river known as the Darling River today. So Cod came out with
Mudlark, his little mate, and they set off from the north and they
created the big river. Flows right down, water flows right throughout
our country, right into the sea now.
of course, this country was also created, the first two tribes put in
our country were Eaglehawk and Crow. And from these two tribes came
many tribal people, many tribes, and we call them sub-groups today. So
my people, the Ngiyaampaa people and the Barkandji further down are all
sub-groups of Eaglehawk and Crow. So what I'm telling you the stories
that were handed down to me all come from within this country.
"God made some men of
mud, but they were very soft and limp and couldn't see. They could
speak, but what they said didn't make sense. When they got wet the
couldn't even stand up. God saw that they were of no use so he broke
them up and said "I will try again". Then he made men out of wood. The
wooden men were better; they could walk and talk. They built houses and
had children, and there were very many of them. But they were dry and
yellow, and their faces had no expression, because they had no minds
nor souls or hearts. They beat their dogs and they burned the bottoms
of their cooking pots. They had forgotten how they were made and could
not remember any of the names of God. So he said,
"These men will not do
either. I must destroy them also". And he sent a great flood and the
houses of the wooden men fell down. The wooden men wanted to escape,
but the animals they had starved and beaten, and cooking pots they had
burned, and the trees whose branches they had chopped off, all turned
against them and wouldn't help them. Only a few of them escaped from
the flood, and it is said that their descendants are the monkeys. And
it still hadn't dawned; and God wanted to make real men when the dawn
came and the sun rose. . . . He took ears of yellow corn of white corn
and ground them into meal. With the corn meal he make nine kinds of
liquor, and these became man's strength and energies. With the dough of
the meal he shaped the body and he made four men, very strong and
handsome. They were called the Wizard of the Fatal Laugh, the Wizard of
the Night, the Careless and the Black Wizard...They were gifted with
intelligence and they managed to know everything there is in the world.
While the men slept, he made four women very carefully, and when the
men woke, each found at his side a beautiful wife. .
. . When they looked
they would see everything that was around them, and they constantly
contemplated the arch of the sky and the round face of the earth.
"Thank you for our life!" they said. "We can see, we can hear, we can
move and think and speak, we feel and know everything, we can see
everything in the earth and in the sky. Thank you for having made us,
Oh Father!" Then the Creator was troubled, for he realized that these
men could see too much and too far, so that they would not really be
men, but gods. He saw that he had to change them so that they could be
what he needed. So he leaned down and blew mist in their eyes and
clouded their vision, like breathing on a mirror, and from then on
nothing was clear to their sight except what was close to them. The
four men and their wives went up on a mountain and waited for the dawn.
First they saw the shining face of the great star, the Morning Star
which comes ahead of the sun, and burned incense and unwrapped three
gifts to offer the sun. Then the sun came up. Then the puma and the
jaguar roared and all the birds stretched their wings and sang, and the
men and their wives danced with joy because the sun had risen."
was so lonely. One day he paced back and forth on the sandy beach
feeling quite forlorn. Except for the trees , the moon, the sun, water
and a few animals, The world was empty. His heart wished for the
company of other creatures. Suddenly a large clam pushed through the
sand making an eerie bubbling sound. Raven watched and listened
intently as the clam slowly opened up. He was surprised and happy to
see tiny people emerging from the shell. All were talking, smiling, and
shaking the sand off their tiny bodies. Men, women, and children spread
around the island. Raven was pleased and proud with his work. He sang a
beautiful song of great joy and greeting. He had brought the first
people to the world.
Salish: The ancients all had
greater powers and cunning than either animals or people. Besides the
ancients, real people lived on the earth at that time. Old One made the
people out of the last balls of mud he took from the earth. They were
so ignorant that they were the most helpless of all the creatures Old
One had made.
The difficulty with the
early world was that most of the ancients were selfish, and they were
also very stupid in some ways. They did not know which creatures were
deer and which were people, and sometimes they ate people by mistake.
At last Old One
said,"There will soon be no people if I let things go on like this." So
he sent Coyote to teach the Indians how to do things. And Coyote began
to travel on the earth, teaching the Indians, making life easier and
better for them, and performing many wonderful deeds.
Iroquois: The Iroquois trace the
beginning of human life to a time when Skywoman fell to an island
created by a giant turtle. The island grew in shape and size and became
North America. There, Skywoman gave birth to a daughter whose children
propagated the human race.
Penobscot: When Kloskurbeh, the
All-Maker, lived on earth, there were no people yet. But one day a
youth appeared, born from the foam of the waves, and became his chief
helper. After these two beings had created all manner of things, there
came to them a beautiful girl. She was born of the wonderful earth
plant, and of the dew, and of warmth.
First Mother (as she was
called) married the chief helper of Kloskurbeh. When their children
multiplied until there was not enough game to feed them all, First
Mother made her husband kill her. Then he and his children dragged her
body back and forth across a barren plot of land, as she had ordered,
and buried her bones in the center of the field. Seven months later
they returned and found the field green with ripe corn and, in the
center, fragrant tobacco.
Tewa/Hopi: Way back in the distant
past, the ancestors of humans were living down below in a world under
the earth. They weren't humans yet, they lived in darkness, behaving
Now there was a Great
Spirit watching over everything; some people say he was the sun. He saw
how things were down under the earth, so he sent his messenger, Spider
Old Woman, to talk to them. She said, "You creatures, the Sun Spirit
doesn't want you living like this. He is going to transform you into
something better, and I will lead you to another world."
When they came out on
the surface of the earth, that's when they became humans. In the
journeys that followed, they were looking for a place of harmony where
they could follow good teachings and a good way of life.
"One day the Great Spirit collected swirls of dust from the four directions in order to create the Commanche people.
These people formed from the earth had the strength of mighty storms. Unfortunately, a shape-shifting demon was also
created and began to torment the people. The Great Spirit cast the demon into a bottomless pit. To seek revenge the
demon took refuge in the fangs and stingers of poisonous creatures and continues to harm people every chance it gets."
Tonoho O'odham creation story, the reproductive powers
of the universe give birth to the Papagueria and the world
thanks to I'itoi, the god who lives in Waw kiwalik, or Baboquivari
Peak. . . . . .
I know not if the voice
can reach to the sky;
I know not if the mighty one
will hear as I pray;
I know not if the gifts I ask
will all granted be;
I know not if the world of old
we truly can hear;
I know not what will come to pass
in our future days;
I hope that only good will come,
my children, to you.