The World On The Turtle's Hollow Analysis

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For centuries, Native Americans have passed down creation myths from generation to generation. Creation myths always “describe how the universe, the Earth, and life began” (33). The Iroquois’ creation myth, retold as “The World on the Turtle’s Back”, describes the creation of Earth and of life as we know it today. In a Kiowa myth from The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momoday, the narrator (the author) describes a myth detailing the creation of the Big Dipper constellation that he had heard from his grandmother. By analyzing these myths, I have recognized the similarities between the Iroquois and the Kiowa despite cultural differences. The Iroquois and the Kiowa also have geographical distances: the Iroquois mainly lived in New York while the Kiowa resided in Oklahoma. However, this is not extremely evident in the two myths. Both “The World on the Turtle’s Back” and the myth from The Way to Rainy Mountain reference a “great tree” that provides support to the main characters (34, 55). In the Iroquois legend, a…show more content…
This is found in how “The World on the Turtle’s Back” and The Way to Rainy Mountain treat death. For example, “The World on the Turtle’s Back” states that “the left-handed twin died, but he died and he didn’t die” and that the left-handed twin now lives “in the world below” (40). Moreover, both legends describe people being reincarnated as celestial bodies. For instance, in the Iroquois creation myth, the grandmother becomes the moon after being killed by her right-handed grandson. The right-handed twin, also known as the “Master of Life”, becomes the sun (40). In the Kiowa legend, the seven sisters transfigure into the seven stars of the Big Dipper constellation. On the contrary, the Iroquois and the Kiowa treat gods differently. The gods in “The World on the Turtle’s Back” play a central role to the story whereas in the story from The Way to Rainy Mountain, gods are

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