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Pawnee creation myth [archive]

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Pawnee creation myth

Tirawa Atius (atius means "lord") is the great eternal God who created all things and supplies the needs of all creatures. He created the Path of the Departing Spirits, known to the White Man as the Milky Way. East of the Path is the Male Principle–the Morning Star, and to the west is the Female Principle–the Evening Star. All that has happened and will happen has been ordained by Tirawa, and the stars are his servants. From the east the Morning Star began to pursue Evening Star in order to make love to her, but she continued to elude him. She put hindrances in his path, but continued to beckon him all the while. Why? Because it was not yet time to make living things on the earth; and females always tease and flirt with males, as well as demand tests to prove men's character.

The number ten has always had significance for human beings, and this is because Evening Star placed ten obstacles in the way of her suitor. One of the hindrances was in the chaos beneath them. There was an endless sheet of water presided over by the Great Serpent. The Morning Star threw a ball of fire at the serpent, which caused the serpent to flee beneath the waves. As the fire hit the water, enough of the water dried up to reveal earth and rocks. From these materials, Morning Star threw a pebble into the sea of chaos and it became the earth.

When the earth was in its proper place, Tirawa appointed four lesser gods to administer it. They were East, West, North, and South. They joined hands at the edge of the great sea on earth and a land mass emerged.

Eventually, Morning Star caught up with Evening Star and made love with her. Soon Evening Star conceived a little daughter. When she gave birth to the little girl, she placed the child on a cloud and sent her to earth. High above the earth, Evemng Star asked Morning Star to water her celestial garden and, as a love gift, he made the first rain.

In the celestian gardens of Evening Star, there grew a great many plants, including Mother Maize, the greatest of food plants. Evening Star gave maize to her daughter as a gift to plant on the newly emerged earth. Soon the Sun and the Moon produced a son, who married the daughter of Evening Star and Morning Star. Daughter-of-Evening-and-Morning-Star and Son-of-Sun-and-Moon are the parents of all living human beings, as well as the first beings to cultivate maize.

Additional Reading

  Native American creation myth
  Pawnee culture
  Pawnee Indian tribe
  Plains American Indians
  Nebraska Indian reservations

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