The World on the Turtles Back

"The World On the Turtles Back" is a representation of a Native American creation story. A creation story,along with a creation myth was created to pass down and share with others how people believe the earth and every living being came into existence. The story fulfulls the four creation myth purposes: to instill awe, to guide people, to support customs, and to explain nature. The purposes are all essential in a creation myth.

The first purpose in a creation myth is to instill awe, which is an overwhelming feeling or experience that does not occur often. In the "World onthe Turtles Back". the woman fell through a hole in the Sky World. A woman falling through the hole of a world would be terrifying and quite unusual. Although, not only did she fall through the world, but "the birds of the sea saw the woman falling, and they immediately consulted with each other as to what they could do to help her. Flying wingstrip to wingstrip they made a great feathery raft in the sky to support her and thus they broke her fall." the birds caught her in the sky which creates a magical and warming feeling because there was a creature willing to help the unfortunate woman. After just the beginning the reader has experienced many good and bad feelings from the awe in the story.

The second purpose in the story is to guide people. Guiding people through a story or myth is like handing them a compass to direct them. The myth teaches you to balance the way you live and the activities you do. "The world the twins made was a balanced and orderly world and this was good." Therefor, if you listen to their direction and make everything balanced and orderly, your life will seem better. You are also taught not to favor people, especially those who are in your same family. For the grandmother in the story favored the lef-handed son, which made the right-handed son despise and not appreciate her. The lessons taught in the creation myth will help in life to create a smoother surface for growing.

Supporting customs is the following purpose in a creation myth. Customs are often thought of as the tradtions people hold and when they are supported it shows an appreciation and respect towards those who hold them. The first custom that stands out in the story is the ritual of dance, "The women call her 'our mother' and they dance and sing in the rituals so that the corn, the beans, and the squash may grow to feed the people." Their custom of dancing is their way of 'blessing' the crops and helping them grow which is almost like a prayer ceremony for crops when christians ask God for his blessing on the food. Not only do they share the ability to dance with others around the world, but they share the ability to play laccross, which is another ritual shared in the creation myth. Each custom is not only present in one area of the world, but it is represented and shared all over the world.

The last purpose in a creation myth is to explain nature, which is where one goes into detail about the earth and all the living creatures and things that make up nature. The myth is great for reminding people to take care of the world and for teaching people to take care of themselves by staying healthy. The sea creatures show how to do this by helping the sky woman plant the roots through her fingers in the soil. But the story is not just about helping others, it is about a way of living. We all live on the earth and are part of nature which is also mentioned in the story:"they lived on the plants and roots they gathered." The story presents how they work for what they have and do not just expect things to be given to them.

"The World on the Turtles Back" is different from other creation myth's because it is very supernatural. The fact that the myth is not very realistic helps to bring out the awe in the story. In just the beginning of the story, the reader gathers a range of emotions from the events that take place. The myth is a great testimony of how your life is affected by others and how much you affect those around you and the world in which you live. All of which explains how we guide each other. Not only does it show how we guide each other, but it is a good lesson for how we share customs and transitions even though we may be miles apart from each other. Tying into customs and traditions, it shows us how to appreciate the world we live in and how to take care of it. The "World on the Turtles Back" is a wonderful resource on valuable life lessons.

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