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Native American Creation Story - "The Story of How Our World Was Formed"

Updated on August 25, 2016

Part one - The creation of the heavens and the earth

Many moons ago, at the start of this world, there was a great spirit. This spirit flew through the heavens like a great owl, silently flying from one end of the heavens to the other. One day the Great Spirit said to himself, “I have flown from one side of the heavens to the other and it is all empty. I grow weary of the great emptiness. I will make a great land come forth from this emptiness and make two lights to rule the land.” So the Great Spirit sang a great song, and there came forth a great light named the sun to rule the day, after this came his wife the moon to rule the night with their many children the stars. The Great Spirit then flapped his wings with several strong strokes and pushed up a great land from the emptiness of the waters below. From this land the Great Spirit made the great mountains in the east, the great prairies of the west and the great swamps in the south.


Part two - The creation and the plants and animals

On the next day he looked upon what he had created, and he saw that the land was bare. So the Great Spirit decided to make the great redwood trees which reach to the sky in the west, the great ash and fir forests of the north, the mighty oaks of the south, and all manner of grass and brush. As the Great Spirit looked down upon his new creation he was troubled. For even though he had created life the plants and trees could not take up root and move from one place to another. As he looked around, the Great Spirit noticed that the trees and plants were very sick, for too many of them grew and they choked out the life of each other so they could not grow. So the Great Spirit in his wisdom created the deer and the antelope to eat the grass, the porcupine to eat the trees, birds to eat the berries of the bushes, and bees and butterflies to tend to the flowers. The Great Spirit in all his wisdom saw that if he did not act the deer and the antelope would do the same to each other as the grass and the trees had done. So he made the mighty bear, the nimble mountain lion, the cunning fox, and the wolf family. After he had done this the Great Spirit was pleased at last and roosted in the top of a great oak tree to rest for the night.


Part three - The creation of man and woman

The next day the Great Spirit looked upon what he created he saw it was good. However, after a few days the Great Spirit grew lonely, for as he looked around all of the things he had created had companions of their own kind. So the Great Spirit flew all throughout the land looking for a companion, but he was unable to find one that was suitable for him. “These animals can move and run, live and die, but they have no spirit like me in them.” So the Great Spirit took some of the land, which still had great magic in it, and breathed on it and it grew and grew until it became the first chief, who is called high chief for he is the chief above all other chiefs. Then the Great Spirit pulled a feather from the high chief’s headdress and tossed it up into the air. After this the wind started to blow. First came the mighty west wind, then came his sister from the east. As the wind blew the feather floated higher and higher. Soon the kind warm wind of the south blew and warmed the feather taking with it some hair from the high chief. Soon the feather got so warm it began to smolder, just as it started to smolder the mighty north wind chief of all winds blew cold and hard upon the feather. Soon ice began to form on the feather and it slowly sank back down to the ground.

After the wind died down, the high chief stepped in close to where the feather had fallen. As he looked upon the place the feather had fallen and he saw something, something better than he could imagine, a young and woman appearing to be in a deep sleep whose beauty was beyond compare. As the young woman woke up, she rubbed her eyes and looked around her at the new world and all its beauty. As her eyes meet the high chief she was instantly in love with him. As the first woman looked into the eyes of the high chief he felt as if she was looking straight into his soul. His heart swelled as he fell madly in love with her as if his heart would burst forth from his chest and he wanted to be a great chief in order to please her. So the high chief declared his love for her and asked her to be his forever and she gladly took his hand.


Part four - Expectations

At this time the Great Spirit flew over and said to the high chief, “I have given you this woman as a companion and a helper so you will not grow lonely as I did. Treat her well and have my blessing treat her badly and you will fall from my favor and be cursed.” The high chief heard these words and took them to heart. After this the Great Spirit looked to first woman and said, “You are the high chiefs rock, be good to him. Be strong like the mighty bear for it will give him great medicine in battle. From you my people will be born, teach them well.” With this the Great Spirit sang a beautiful song and there came forth a great and majestic deer from the woods nearby. As the high chief looked upon the deer he saw that caught in the antlers was a bow and a quiver full of arrows. The Great Spirit told the high chief to go and take the bow and arrows from the deer and he did. The Great Spirit then told him, “Go take these and hunt, first woman may be the caretaker of the home but it is your job to be the provider. Do this so your family will never go hungry.”

Part five - The conclusion

After he had said these things the Great Spirit flew back up into the heavens. From the heavens he watches over all he created, especially the high chief, first woman, and all their children. Every few moons one of first woman’s children will need help, and in their time of great need the Great Spirit will reappear and lend them aid. Sometimes he will become an owl quiet and wise, or a bear big and strong, a fox cunning and sneaky, or a deer majestic and swift. Whatever he chooses to become you can be sure, in your greatest time of need the Great Spirit will be near to guide you and lean you aid.

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