Creation / Migration / Origin Stories

Rainbow Serpent
Creation Story



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"Heart of My People"

Aborigine Creation Story

as told by Aunty Beryl Carmichael

This 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 of.

Dreamtime
(An Aborigine Creation Story)

Guthi-guthi 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.

Aborigine Creation Story

Weowie 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.

And 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.

Mayan Creation Story

From the Popul-Vuh of the Quiche Maya

Creation of the [Maya] World

"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."

Northwest Creation Story

Raven 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 like bugs.

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.

Creation/Migration Stories

Anishnabe Migration Story

Apache Creation Story

Apache Creation Stories

Aztec Creation Story

California Creation Story (Yokut)


Commanche Creation Story

Creation myth

Creation of the First Indians (Chelan)

Creation of the Red and
White Races (Flathead/Salish)

Creation Stories

Creation Stories from around the world

Creation Stories, Folktales, and Mythology


Diguenos Creation Story

Grandmother's Creation Story (Creek)


Inuit Creation Story
(Sedna, the witch under the sea)

MicMac Creation Story

Hitchiti-Mikasuki Creation Story (Taino)
(Contributed by: Adonaset)

Navajo Creation Story

The Navajo creation story involves three underworlds where important
events happened to shape the Fourth World where we now live. . . . . . .

Rainbow Serpent Creation Story

Timucua Creation Legend (Taino)
(Contributed by: Adonaset)

Tlingit Creation Story(Raven)

Tohono O'odham Creation Story

In the 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. . . . . .

Yavapai-Apache Creation Story

Zuni Creation Story

Origin Stories

Gabrielinos Origin Tale

I know not if the voice of man
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.

Origin of Fire (Jicarilla-Apache)

Origin of Game and of Corn (Cherokee)

Origin of Medicine (Cherokee)

Origin of Summer and Winter (Acoma/Laguna)

Origin of the Animals (Jicarilla-Apache)

Origin of the Buffalo (Cheyenne)

Origin of the Buffalo Dance (Blackfoot)

Origin of the Clans (Hopi)

Origin of the Iroquois Nations (Iroquois)

Origin of the Lakota Peace Pipe (Lakota)

Origin of the Medicine Man (Passamaquoddy)

Origin of the Sierra Nevadas and Coast Range (Yokut)

Origin of the Sweat Lodge (Blackfeet/Piegan)

Origin of the Thunderbird (Passamaquoddy)

Origin of the Winds (Aleuts)

Origin of Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La (Yosemite)

Origin of Yosemite (Yosemite)

Our Origins (Canada)

Other Origin Stories
(Owens Valley Paiute, Cahuilla, Maidu, Yurok)

Stories/Legends

Ancient One

Beginning of Thunder (Miwok)

Beginning of the World (Blackfoot)

Blessed Gift of Joy
is Bestowed Upon Man


Coyote and Multnomah Falls (Wasco)

First Fire (Cherokee)

First Moccasins (Plains Nations

Flood on Superstition Mountain (Pima)

Godasiyo the Woman Chief (Seneca)

Grandmother Spider
Steals the Fire (Choctaw)

(Contributed by: Three Feathers)

Great Flood (Salish)

Great Serpent and the
Great Flood (Chippewa)


How Corn Came to the Earth

How the Cherokee Learned
the Rattlesnake Prayer Song


How the Great Chiefs Made
the Moon and the Sun (Hopi)

How the Hopi Indians
Reached Their World (Hopi)

How the Old Man Made People

How Rabbit Brought Fire
to the People (Creek)

In the Beginning

In the Beginning
(Yuchi)


Maidu and Other Origin Stories
from Central California


Men Visit the Sky (Seminole)


Morning Star (Plains Indians)

Myths & Legends

Myths and Legends
of the Australian Aborigines

Mythology of the Haida

Origin of Earth (Tuskegee)

Rainbow's End (Dine/Navajo)

Seek Your Father (Seneca)

Spider Rock (Dine/Navajo)

Strange Origin of Corn (Abnaki)

The Two-Legged Creature (Oto)

Warm Wind Brothers vs.
The Cold Wind Brothers

When the Animals and
Birds Were Created (Makah)


Why the North Star
Stands Still (Paiute)


Why the Opussum's
Tail Is Bare (Cherokee)


Yellowstone Valley and
the Great Flood (Cheyenne)

Other Stories/Myths/Legends

Chinese Creation Story

Chinese Stories

Folktales from China

King Mu and the
Queen Mother of the West

(The holder of the fruit of eternal life)

Tales, Legends,
and Folklore of Asia

Indonesian Folk Tale

Japanese Creation Story

"Dan-Gun, First King of Korea"

Korean Creation Story

Korean Creation Story
(in Korean)

Oceanic Mythology


Indigenous Peoples' Literature Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature

Compiled by: Glenn Welker





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