Creation Country Every native community has its own creation story and culture heroes, although there is considerable variance among these narratives. Iroquois-speaking peoples believed that the world was created on the back of a turtle. Other groups saw their origins in the sexual union of the sun and moon, or a first man and woman. In both the Southwest and Southeast, native peoples spoke of traveling on long journeys underground and emerging as human beings. Stories of cultural heroes are just as varied. In one widely known example, Iroquois people told early Europeans of twin brothers, one of whom worked hard to make the world habitable and fertile, and the other who worked at cross purposes with the first. The world existed in tension between good and bad forces as a result of the brothers’ eternal struggle. Many native communities told tales to their youth as a way of imparting cultural values. For instance, trickster stories, featuring characters like Fox and Coyote, who could change form in order to trick humans and teach a lesson, gave native parents a way to teach their children some of life’s lessons.
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