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Friday, 3 October 2014

Abenaki Creation Story and the Importance of Dreaming

Hi dear friends and followers I am pleased you are here for the continuation of Native American legends and myths 

Story teller

Maybe I shouldn't be sharing this information with anyone because even though I have Native American heritage I am not an expert on Native American cultures. However, I do have a great respect and interest for the peoples who discovered the Americas.

Please allow me a few words of introduction on this subject.

Long before any Europeans arrived in America there were established nations and societies here. The peoples of these nations had developed technology sufficient to maintain their lives in whatever climate they inhabited, from the Aleuts in the frozen north, to the Seminoles in subtropical Florida.

They had no need for courts as all justice was handled by mediation. There was no welfare system because no one was left unfed or without a place to have shelter. There were no jails because there was no crime problem. Family lineage was matriarchal and systems of government were working within the tribes. There was contact among the various tribes and peoples in the form of trade and sharing of news via runners. The peoples had their beliefs in how they were created, the afterlife, how to live life on Earth, and why the rain fell, the thunder roared, and the snow came. In short, everything was in working order long before Columbus accidentally “discovered” it.

The original citizens of America did not live in individual states or rigidly marked territories as we do today. They did not believe in the private ownership of land. It was their position that the land owned them, and not the other way around. This made the boundaries between peoples and tribes rather fuzzy by comparison to state lines and national borders.

There are so many Native peoples, Tribes, groups, and sub-groups that it would take me hours just to list them all. If you want to see a listing in alphabetical order, follow this link:

I found it impractical to do a brief review of Native American mythologies and legends for each group in that list, in alphabetical order, because of the frequent occurrence of sub-groups and related groups (e.g., members of a confederation) or extinct groups.

What I have decided to do is to look at the Native peoples within each of the United States and the Provinces of Canada and, both from antiquity and at present, and do a brief overview of their myths and legends. This will help me to present the myths of the greater number of peoples and tribes.

I would appreciate your comments on these presentations. This project is a work in-progress and can easily be changed.

Thank you so much!

When I was in the fourth grade I learned geography. In America there were 50 states and we started with the New England States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Accordingly, we will look at the mythologies of the Maine Natives first. The outline map of Maine shows the four major peoples of Maine and where they resided.

Abenaki Creation Story and the Importance of Dreaming

The Great Spirit, in a time not known to us, looked about and saw nothing. No colors, no beauty. Time was silent, in darkness. There was no sound. Nothing could be seen or felt. The Great Spirit decided to fill this space with light and life.

From his great power he commanded the sparks of creation. He ordered Tôlba, the Great Turtle, to come from the waters and become the land. The great Spirit molded the mountains and the valleys on the turtle's back. He put white clouds in the blue skies. He was very happy. He said, “Everything is ready now. I will fill this place with the happy movement of life.”

He thought and thought about what kind of creatures he would make. Where would they live? What would they do? What would their purpose be? He wanted a perfect plan. He thought so hard that he became very tired and fell asleep.

His sleep was filled with dreams of his creation. He saw strange things in his dream. He saw animals crawling on four legs, some on two. Some creatures flew with wings; some swam with fins. There were plants of all colors, covering the ground everywhere. Insects buzzed around, dogs barked, birds sang, and human beings called to each other. Everything seemed out-of-place. The Great Spirit thought he was having a bad dream. He thought that nothing could be this imperfect.

When the Great Spirit awakened, he saw a beaver nibbling on a branch. He realized that the world of his dream had become his creation. Everything that he had dreamed about came true. When he saw the beaver make his home, and a dam to provide a pond for his family to swim in, he then knew that everything had its place and purpose in the time to come.

It has been told among our people from generation to generation. We must not question our dreams. They are our creation.

Here is an Abenaki legend, The Strange Origin of Corn

A long time ago, when the People were first made, one man lived alone, far away from any others. He did not know about fire, so he lived on roots, bark, and nuts. This man became very lonely for companionship. He grew tired of digging roots, lost his appetite, and, for several days, lay dreaming in the sunshine.

When he awoke, he saw someone standing near to him, and he was very frightened.

But when he heard the stranger's voice, his heart was glad, and he looked up. He saw a beautiful woman with long, light hair! “Come to me!” he whispered. But she did not. When he tried to approach her, she moved farther away. He sang to her about his loneliness, and begged her not to leave him.

At last she replied, “If you will do exactly what I tell you to do, I will also be with you.”

He promised that he would do his very best. So she led him to a place where there was some very dry grass.

“Now get two dry sticks,” she told him, “and rub them together fast while you hold them in the grass.”

Soon a spark flew out. The grass caught fire, and as swiftly as an arrow takes flight, the ground was burned over. Then the beautiful woman spoke again: “When the sun sets, take me by the hair and drag me over the burned ground.”

“Oh, I do not want to do that!” the man exclaimed.

You must do what I tell you to do,” said she. “Wherever you drag me, something like grass will spring up, and you will see something like hair coming from between the leaves. Soon seeds will be ready for your use.”

The man followed the beautiful woman's orders. And when the People see silk on the cornstalk, they know that the beautiful woman has not forgotten them.

You are also invited to share your thoughts and comments, they are greatly appreciated. Thank you and have a wonderful day

ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ

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