The society of Americans today is unaware of the cultures and beliefs of Native Americans, and how complex those cultures are. The creation myth, “The Earthdiver” written by the Mono culture, and the creation myth, “How the World Was Made” written by the Cherokee have similarities and differences that open the eyes of its audiences that are unknowledgeable of the topic. Native American folktales are stories on how certain Native American tribes contributed their beliefs and culture into one story.
For example, the Mono Native American’s lived in New Mexico, were primarily nomads, and surrounded their culture around nature. The Cherokee were a large group of Native Americans that contained a nature-based culture, settled on the East Coast, and were successful in creating their own empire. Even though the creation myths “The Earthdiver” and “How the World Was Made” both emphasize nature completely, they differ in the steps and materials that were taken or used to create planet Earth.
The creation myth, “The Earthdiver” contained many essential elements that displayed their culture. The key elements of their culture were the Prairie Falcon, water and the oceans, and lastly, death and the afterlife. These elements play the role of creating the Earth in the Mono Native American’s specific way. “The Earthdiver” presented the beliefs in how the Mono Native Americans thought the Earth was created. To begin with, the Prairie Falcon sent three different animals to the bottom of the ocean to gather sand to begin creating planet Earth.
Two of the three animals failed to complete their assignment; they all died in the process, but the Prairie Falcon brought them back to life. The final animal retrieved the sand but he lost a majority of the sand on his way back to land, and then died. The Prairie Falcon used the ounce of sand from the deceased animal’s hand to create the Earth. The Cherokee Native Americans created “How the World Was Made” to display their culture’s beliefs on how the Earth was created. The key elements of their culture displayed what they believed in and how they lived their everyday lives.
The Great Buzzard, islands, and the sky vault all contributed to the ideas of how the Earth was created. In “How the World Was Made”, the Cherokee felt that Earth was hanging from sky vault above a gigantic island. The Earth was soft and flat as well as an unsuitable home for humans and animals. Their leader, the Great Buzzard, flew across the Earth and flapped his wings, creating mountains and valleys. Therefore, the Great Buzzard made the Earth dry so that animals could approach and finish his job. The animals planted the sun in the sky, and the streams carried off of the mountains.
After the Earth was finally created, Man and Woman were created and they conceived frequently, and the Underworld was their destination after death. “The Earthdiver” and “How the World Was Made” both contain similarities that strike their readers. The two Native American cultures are surrounded by nature, and they firmly believe in it. The Cherokee Nation strives in the power of water, as well as the Mono. They focus on how vital planet Earth is, and the humans and animals that live on our planet. In addition, “The Earthdiver”, and “How the World Was Made” were how the culture believed on how the Earth was created.
The Cherokee and the Mono Native American tribes had their own specific way on how humans and the planet they lived on came about. The leaders of these tribes were animals, not humans. The Cherokee Indians looked at their animal leader as a hero, “This was the Great Buzzard, the father of all the buzzards we see now. . . ” The Mono Native Americans cherished the Prairie Falcon, and the Cherokee respected the Great Buzzard; both leaders resulting in a bird. “The Earthdiver”, and “How the World Was Made” are creation myths that share the same basic information, but the cultures themselves show their differences.
It is amazing to notice how opposite two things on planet Earth has the ability of being. The two specific creation myths, share many differences among their similarities. The key elements of the Cherokee and the Mono have different meanings toward each other. Specifically, the Cherokee Native Americans focus on humans more literally than the Mono. The Mono Native Americans relied on their animals for most, and rarely spoke of the humans, “In the beginning, Prairie Falcon and Crow were sitting on a log which projected over the waters that covered the world.
Thus, they asked Duck what numbers he had dreamed off . . . “Animals to the Mono were more valuable than human beings themselves. To the Mono Native Americans, death and the afterlife were of importance. The Prairie Falcon brought all of the animals back to life that tried to retrieve that sand for him. “Prairie Falcon saw the corpse, recovered it, and brought Coot back to life. ” Their leader was the only one that could do this, for they believed that anyone doing a good deed could be brought back to life.
However, the Cherokee thought that Earth was hanging from a sky vault with four cardinal points. They felt that it was crucial for them to create the Earth to be an island that hung from the sky vault. Therefore saying, “The Earth is a great island floating in a sea of water, and suspended at each of the four cardinal points by a cord hanging from the sky vault, which is solid rock. ” The creation myths “The Earthdiver” and “How the World was Made” delivered the differences between not only the stories, but the cultures as well.
Although the creation myths, “The Earthdiver” and “How the World was Made” emphasize nature, they differ in the steps taken to create planet Earth. The Mono and Cherokee culture are surround around nature and how deeply they care about it. They created the Earth in their own specific ways they keep their culture unique. Their leaders, key elements, and beliefs created creation myths that showed their similarities and differences. The Mono culture and the Cherokee culture will forever hold their peace in how the Earth was created.