Manataka American Indian Council
Wyandotte Stories I
CREATION OF THE WYANDOTTE
were people living in the sky. Their patch of corn was just large enough to
yield a meal a day. A woman whose occupation it was to gather the daily harvest,
cut down the corn stalks, one day, and brought them home. She had thus wasted
the corn harvest. That is why the men, being angry at her, cast her down through
a hole in the sky.
She fell through the air. There was nothing but water everywhere. No land was in sight. Wild geese, swimming about there, beheld something in the sky. The Gander said, "Let us go there; something is falling from above!" So there they went together; and the woman fell upon their backs, without even touching the water. After she had remained a long time there, the Geese said, "We are tired!" The Gander answered, "Someone else should now take care of her."
The Big Turtle then swam to the surface of the water, and took the woman upon her back. The Toad soon came up, with just a small bit of dirt. She gave it to the woman and said, "Just put some of it all around the Turtle's shell, in the water." So the woman did; and then the land began to grow around her. Quite soon it had become quite large, and the woman did not need the turtle any longer to carry her. She lived on the island.
In those days the children were not born as they are today. Whenever a child was desired, the people had just to think about it, and it was found anywhere, in the hollow trees, maybe. The woman on the island went out to chop wood. There she found two children, both boys. The first one she picked up she considered the elder. The next one was the younger brother.
The boys grew fast. After a while they were big enough to go out hunting and kill birds. Their mother made bows and arrows for them.
The woman at once found out that there was a great difference in the actions of the children. The younger one was quite mean. And, as they grew tip, it became more and more evident that one was good and the other bad. While the Evil One was busy with evil deeds, his elder brother was always bringing forth things that were good. The younger one would tear down the good things made by his brother. The Good One made the sugar-trees, the sap of which was pure syrup, running easily from the tapped trees. Only a little boiling made it into sugar. The evil brother poured water into the trees, so that there was no more syrup, but only sweet water, as we now find it.
It is only after long and patient boiling that we now can reduce it to syrup.
Now the Good One: created people, that is, just two persons. As he had also brought forth fruit trees, the Creator spoke to the first man and woman, saying, "You must not touch the fruit of this tree!"
But his younger brother said to the woman, 'Why can't you eat the fruit of that tree?" She answered, "The Creator has forbidden it." The Evil One retorted, "If you eat the fruit of the tree, you shall be wise." Then the serpent, made by the Good One, but rendered mean by his younger brother, came to the woman and said, "You should eat the fruit of the tree." Then the woman was induced to eat the fruit, and, in turn, she induced the man to taste it. They both found its taste very good. It had not yet been swallowed by the man when the Creator appeared. "What are you doing?" asked he. There was no answer. As they were ashamed, they ran off and hid themselves. This was the garden of Eden. The Creator said, "You shall have to work hard for your bread; and then you shall die."
From that time, the people began to sin, just as they have done ever since. There was neither death nor sorrow in the early days. Now the people are wicked, and there is nothing but trouble everywhere.
The two brothers were the good mind and the bad mind.
Submitted by Blue Panther Keeper of Stories
Creation Story of the Wyandot
Several brothers and sisters were living together. The only meal they had every day consisted of a single basketful of corn, the daily yield of their corn-patch.
Tired of thus gathering of the corn for every meal, the young woman thought to herself one day, "Now, maybe, the easiest way is to cut the stalks [and gather the ears once for all]." So she cut down the corn stalks and gathered them all. Her brothers, in their grief, spoke to her and said, "You have spoilt everything and ruined our subsistence! You have wasted it all!" They dropped her through a hole into the ocean.
Wild Geese were roaming about on the waters. Their leader exclaimed, "A body is falling from above. Let us all gather close together!" And the woman from above fell gently upon the backs of the Geese, as they were all assembled together. One of them spoke after a while and said, "We are getting tired. Let some one else now take our place." 'The Turtle, emerging from under the waters, said, "It is I, the next!" And the body of the woman fallen from above now rested upon the Turtle's back.
Then the Toad went [down] and came back with a mouthful of dirt. She gave the dirt to the woman fallen from above, saying, "Do this! Sprinkle it about at arm's length where you lie." The Toad meant her to sprinkle the [grains of] earth all around her. So the woman did; and the land grew around her. She rose and began to walk about the new land.
The Toad now gave to the woman grains of corn, beans, pumpkin seeds, and seeds of all the plants that are reaped. That is what the Toad did.
After a while the woman felt very lonely. She thought, "I wish to find a child." It so happened that she found twin boys. Very soon she noticed, as they were growing in size, that the younger of the twins was not good, and that he only cared for the ruin of whatever his elder brother had undertaken. The elder brother made all that is found in the lap of our land.
He created all the living beings and also the
people. The Indian people were created by him, the Good One. His younger brother
then came forward and said, "I too will make some people." And the monkeys he
brought forth, as though they had been real human beings.
Of the twins, the elder is Hamedijun, and the younger one the Underground dweller.
Submitted by Blue Panther Keeper of Stories.
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