Long ago, before there were any people, the world cover with water.The earth was a great island floating upon the seas, suspended by four rawhide ropes representing the four sacred directions. There were no people at this time, but the animals lived in a home above the rainbow. Needing space, they sent Water Beetle to look for room under the seas. Water Beetle dove deep and brought up mud, which spread quickly, turning into land that was flat but too soft and wet for the animals to live on. Grandfather Buzzard was sent to see if the land had hardened. When he flew over the earth, he found the mud had become solid; he flapped his wings, coming in for a closer look. The wind from his wings created mountains and valley, and that is why the Cherokee territory has so many mountains today. As the earth stiffened, the animals came down from the rainbow. It was still dark and they needed light, so they pulled the sun out from behind the rainbow. But it was too bright and hot, so the shamans were told to place the sun higher in the sky. A path was made for it to travel--from east to west--so that all inhabitants could share in the light. People were created last. The women were able to have babies every seven days. They reproduced so quickly that the Creator feared the world would soon become too crowded. So after that the women could have only one child per year, and it has been that way ever since.
- We will now have science tests where we ask our children questions like:
- How many rawhide ropes suspended the world?
- Was it Water Beetle or Grandfather Buzzard who looked for land under the sea? (Hint: Buzzards can't swim.)
- Did animals originally live on land or in rainbows?