Iroquois Creation Story Summary

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In what way(s) are these stories etiological? Etiological stories are important because the authors take what they know about the present and use it to explain how something came to be. Oftentimes people in today’s society get wrapped up in the thought that these narratives are meant to be factual and historical, which is not always the case. Both the Iroquois and Navajo creation stories have etiological elements. The Iroquois Creation Story describes the creation of the universe two existing worlds. An example of etiology is seen as the pregnant woman is sitting on the turtle’s back. As the woman is being held, “the turtle increase[s] every moment and bec[omes] a considerable island of earth, and apparently covered with small bushes” (Cusick…show more content…
What is being explained or taught through these stories? A common theme seen throughout the trickster tales is deception. In the tale “From the Winnebago Trickster Cycle” deception is used to prevent starvation of the Trickster and his friends. As winter approaches Trickster an his friends realize that there is no food left from the fall harvest, so Trickster devises a plan to disguise himself as a woman to marry a chief’s son so they “can live in peace until spring comes” (Radin 106). It is important to note that the goal is not to harm the people of the village, but to prevent starvation. Deception can also be seen in “Ikto Conquers Iya, the Eater.” In this tale the use of deception ends up saving a village. In the conclusion of the story it is stated that Ikto, the hero of the story, “did do a great service to the people” (Deloria 114). This story is used to show that sometimes tricksters can exhibit heroic qualities. Although deception is a common theme, the trickster does not always use deception to harm others. These stories teach listeners/readers to truly think about whether a person’s actions are being used for good or bad, and learn that the answer is not always
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