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Crash Course-- Creation Myths: Crash Course World Mythology #2 thru #6

Terms in this set (47)

The word began long ago, in a place called Quiché, where the Quiché people lived. There was no one, there was not one animal yet and no birds fish, or tree. There was no rock, or forest, no canyon, no meadow. There was sky, separated from all things, the face of the earth was invisible, there was nothing that could make a sound. There was the sea, so calm and all alone. There was dark and night and sea murmurings, ripplings.

Yet within the dark and night and sea, there was the Maker and there was the Feathered Serpent. And they brought their words together, joined them with their thoughts, planned creation. Their words and thoughts were so clear that whatever they said came to be.

And the Serpent and the Maker thought about the nature of the world: what would be light and dark, who would bring food, and what everything should look like. And then by speaking their thoughts, they brought the world into existence, starting with earth and then moving onto its features, like mountains and trees, followed by wild animals. But, there was a problem. The wild animals were unable to speak the names of the Maker and the Feathered Serpent, as well as the other gods who helped bring about creation, and they were unable to praise the gods, thus the first creation was a failure.

The Maker had to start over again. But not before explaining to all wild animals there lot was to be brought low, which considering that the Maker and the Feather Serpent organized things this way, seems at least a little unfair.

"You - bird, deer, you will stay where you are, where you sleep and eat, in the forest and canyons, among the tree and bush. You will be eaten. You will kill and be killed. You will stay low and serve, since you cannot talk and praise your god."
A long time ago, humans lived up in the sky in what we now consider heaven. The daughter of their great chief became very sick, and they were unable to cure her. In the village was a great tree on which grew the corn that had fed all the people. One of the chief's friends had a dream in which he was told to tell the chief to lay his daughter beside the tree and dig it up. The chief did as the dream said. While this was going on an angry young man came along. The angry young man didn't have the best bedside manner. He pointed out the tree provided the fruit which fed the people, and gave the sick daughter a push with his foot.

She fell through the hole that had been left when the tree had been dug up. The young woman fell into this world, which at the time was all water. On this water floated ducks, and geese and all the other water birds. As there was no earth on this water at the time, there was no place for the falling woman to land, so the birds joined their bodies together into a sort of duck island, where the falling woman landed.

After some time, the birds grew tired and asked who would care for the woman. The Great Turtle took the woman, and when he grew tired he asked who would take care of her. They decided to prepare land on which she would liv - the earth. The Toad, after some convincing, dove to the bottom of the primal sea, and collected soil which was placed on the broad carapace of the Great Turtle. It increased in size until it provided the land to accommodate all the living creatures.