Essay On Iroquois Myths

Words: 548
Pages: 3

The Iroquois and classical Chinese tribes integrated creation myths into their cultures. The people of these cultures used creation myths to explain events and ways of life that the people at that time did not understand. In both myths, turtles are safe and supportive creatures capable of bearing the world or the heavens. In the Iroquois myth, the right-handed twin creates a community that favors the men, but does not have a class structure, whereas in the Chinese myth, a goddess named Nü Wa creates humans in classes, which are seen as divine. Both the Iroquois and Classical Chinese myths include turtles that are essential to the creation of the known world because of their supportiveness and sense of safety. The turtle in the Iroquois myth …show more content…
In the Iroquois myth, the “right-handed twin made man” out of clay, and these men were similar to the gods in the Sky World, whose society worked together as one community (Iroquois). Since the right-handed twin, a person of the Sky World, creates man, man’s society functions like that of the gods. Goddess Nü Wa creates man in the Chinese myth by taking mud from “the edge of the pond” and “[shaping] it in the form of a human being” (Chinese). These humans were perfect in every way. After two days of making humans by hand, she uses a vine to mass produce many more. However, the “ones she made by hand became the aristocrats, and the ones she made with the vine became the poor common people” (Chinese). Because Nü Wa makes them by hand, the aristocrats become part of a divine class within the society. In the Iroquois and Chinese myths, gods must rely on the strength and stability of turtles to support their world, but the Iroquois society acts as a community whereas the Chinese society has divine classes with aristocrats and common people. The turtles may be universally seen as strong, supportive creatures because they live to incredible old ages and are able to bear large amounts of weight on their hard shells. The simultaneous creation of man and his ways of society is most likely an explanation for the way the Iroquois and Chinese cultures