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Some of the 86 pages in this Myth & Lore section are below.
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Creation of the Animal
The earth was once a human being:
Old One made her out of a woman. "You will be the mother
of all people," he said.
Earth is alive yet, but she has been
changed. The soil is her flesh, the rocks are her bones, the
wind is her breath, trees and grass are her hair. She lives
spread out, and we live on her. When she moves, we have an earthquake.
After taking the woman and changing
her to earth, Old One gathered some of her flesh and rolled
it into balls, as people do with mud or clay. He made the first
group of these balls into the ancients, the beings of the early
The ancients were people, yet also
animals. In form some looked human while some walked on all
fours like animals. Some could fly like birds; others could
swim like fishes. All had the gift of speech, as well as greater
powers and cunning than either animals or people. But deer were
never among the ancients; they were always animals, even as
they are today.
Besides the ancients, real people
and real animals lived on the earth at that time. Old
One made the people out of the last balls of mud he took from
the earth. He rolled them over and over, shaped them like Indians,
and blew on them to bring them alive. They were so ignorant
that they were the most helpless of all the creatures Old One
Old One made people and animals
into males and females so that they might breed and multiply.
Thus all living things came from the earth. When we look around,
we see part of our mother everywhere.
The difficulty with the early world
was that most of the ancients were selfish and some were monsters,
and there was much trouble among them. They were also very stupid
in some ways. Though they knew they had to hunt in order to
live, 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 kill all the monsters and other evil beings
among the ancients and teach the Indians how to do things. And
Coyote began to travel on earth, teaching the Indians, making
life easier and better for them, and performing many wonderful
--Reported by Ella Clark in the
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