Winter was, and is traditionally the time when outdoor activities cease somewhat. Our Ancestors, incorporated story telling as a way to pass on cultural narratives, learn life lessons and life ways and be entertained during the colder months.
Gather round the fire, here is an excerpt from our primal Wyandot Creation Story, to share with your family.
The Young Woman Fallen From Above
Wyandotte Oklahoma ~ Date May 1912 ~ Information: Catherine Johnson
Translator Mary Kelley, later revised with Allen Johnson
Several brothers and sisters were living together. The only meal they had every day consisted of a daily
basketful of corn, the daily yield of their corn – patch. Tired of gathering the corn for every meal every day, the young woman thought to Herself, “Now perhaps 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 assembled geese, as they were together.
After a while on of them said, “We are getting tired. Let someone else now take our place.”
The Turtle, emerging from under the waters, said, “It is I, next!” And 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 the Woman grains of corn, beans, pumpkin seeds of all the plants that are reaped. This 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 “hamendiju,” and the younger one the “Underground – dweller.”……
From the Wyandot Traditional Narratives, Courtesy of Dr. Craig Kopris and The Wyandotte Nation (Oklahoma)