Native American Deer Origin

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The deer is revered by many cultures. Southwest Native Americans, and a handful of Mesoamerican tribes, in particular, especially sanctify the animal (“Native American”). Assyro-Babylonians described deer as a link between early life and the netherworld, and Norse mythology details their ability to move between the worlds (Thompson)(“Stories, Legends, and Teachings). Throughout the nations, deer are viewed as symbols of kindness, peace, caring love , and fertility . Cervines have long been a symbol of the interconnectedness of humankind and nature, since they are intimately interwoven with the fate of mankind. Kiki Smith’s piece, “Born,” illustrates this connection. Created in 2002, the bronze sculpture consists of a female deer giving birth…show more content…
In the Wichita creation story “The Moon and Morning Star,” a man is told to shoot a black-and-white deer as it emerges from a stream; when he shoots the black-and-white deer, it makes it so that the Earth turns, stars move, and night and day exist (Dorsey). Eikthyrnir, a stag in Norse mythology, is said to stand on the roof of Val-Halla and nibble at the leaves of Laerad (“Eikthyrnir”). An unknown fluid drips from Eikthyrnir’s antlers and collects to form the great rivers of the world (“Eikthyrnir”). Another Natve American tribe, the Iroquois, tell a tale of a woman who is accompanied by a deer, a bear, and a wolf (Dorman 242). The woman cohabits with the animals, becomes pregnant, and gives birth to a multitude of creatures –including man. From her giving birth arise men “black, white, or sallow, in disposition of either timid as the deer, revengeful as bears, or rapacious as wolves” (242). Here, the deer is important in the creation of mankind. The Miztecs of South America also believed deer were crucial in the creation of humans (391). The original Miztec deities were called deer, and the Miztecs are the descendants from the children of these deities

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