There seems to always be a question as to how we the humans came into existence. Everyone has their views and opinions as to how this happened. Different cultures have different ideas as well as stories and creation myths. No one knows the true answer, but they are pretty interesting to read and listen to. There are several different cultures that have stories, and they are all very interesting, but I will tell you about just two of them. I have chosen to talk about the Zulu and the Navajo Creation stories. The two are different, but they also have a lot of similarities. In the Zulu Creation Myth, it is said that Long ago when the earth was empty and full of darkness, there was one very large seed. The seed buried itself into the earth, and long reeds called “uthlanga” (meaning the source of all good things) began to grow from it. The Reed grew into the first man called Unkulunkulu. He was believed to be the creator of all things. The man grew so big and heavy that he broke off from the Reed and fell to the earth. As he looked at all of the earth, he saw other seeds forming into other men and women. Unkulunkulu broke off the first men and women; medicine men and their dreams.
He also pulled off cattle, fish, birds, and other fierce creatures. He created things like streams and mountains, lakes and valleys, wind and rain, and the sun and the moon. It is believed that he created everything that we see today. He taught the humans how to hunt and make fire, and how to make clothes and prepare corn. He named all animals. When everything was finished, he sent out the languid chameleon to tell his people that they will never die. The chameleon was too slow, so he sent out a faster lizard to tell his people that death would be on its way. Death arrived shortly after that. It has never left mankind since. In the Navajo Creation Myth, it is said that before the world existed, it was dark and empty except for having six beings, (First Man, First Woman, Salt Woman, Fire God, Coyote, and Begochiddy the Child of the Sun). Begochiddy created four mountains. White in the East, blue in the South, yellow in the West, and black in the North. There was still no light. The first people grew frustrated with this and decided to leave the first world.
In the center of the first world, Begochiddy planted a large seed that grew into a tall and hollow reed. He gathered his creations and went inside of the reed. The Reed grew taller into the second world, which was light and blue. The First People found that this was a nicer place to live, but the Cat People already lived there. The First People and the Cat People fought for many years but still couldn’t overcome their differences. Again, Begochiddy gathered up his creations and went back into the hollow reed. The Reed grew into the Third World, which was yellow, beautiful and full of light. The First People were happy. They built camps and had lots of children. Begochiddy created rivers and lakes and mountains and all kinds of animals and birds. Everyone lived there happily. While walking along the river one day, Coyote found and stole a baby, the child of the Water Monster of the Third World.
When the Water Monster found out what had happened, he sent rainstorms from every direction, and it flooded the Third World. Begochiddy and his creations went back to the hollow reed and made Coyote give the baby back. It was too late though the water had risen to the base of the Fourth World. Locust helped carve a hole into the Fourth World, and everyone crawled out and set up their houses again. Begochiddy created the mountains and set the moon, sun and stars in the sky. It wasn’t as beautiful as the Third World, but it became home to the Navajos. Begochiddy taught them how to live, plant vegetables and give thanks for their harvests. In both creation myths, they gave very good details of what the worlds looked like and of the things that made up the worlds. In the Zulu Creation Myth, the Earth is represented. It talks about how the seed absorbed into the earth and then the reeds began to grow. The elements that made up this world are the people, all of the creatures, streams, mountains, lakes and valleys, wind and rain and the sun and the moon.
In the Navajo Creation Myth, the Earth, and the Sky are represented. The seed was planted, and it grew taller and taller into the sky. The elements that made up this world are the people, mountains, rivers, lakes and all kinds of animals and birds. The two myths are a lot alike when it comes to the elements that make up the worlds, I think that you will find that in a lot of the myths. Just as in any story, there always has to be a creator, someone who makes the worlds what they are. In the Zulu Creation Myth, the creator was a man who grew from the reeds of the seed, his name was Unkulunkulu. The story says he is a man and that he was the creator of all things. He noticed other men and women growing from the reeds and broke them off as well. He created the streams and mountains, lakes and valleys, wind and rain, and the sun and the moon. It was said that he created everything that we see today.
Unkulunkulu also was the destroyer. He had sent out a chameleon to tell his people that they would always live, but he was furious when the chameleon took too long. He sent out another lizard to tell his people that death would arrive shortly, and it did. In the Inca Creation Myth, the creator was Begochiddy. He was the child of the Sun. He created four mountains. He planted a large seed in the center of the first world. The seed grew into the next worlds. In each world, Begochiddy created something and did something to make each world better. He created the light, rivers, lakes and mountains and all kinds of animals and birds. There was a destroyer. He was the Water Monster of the Third World. He sent storms from all directions as a consequence of the Coyote stealing his son. It flooded the entire third world. Begochiddy created mountains and set the moon, the sun and the stars in the sky in the fourth world.
He also taught his people how to plant vegetables and give thanks for their harvests. In most stories, there are always going to be some similarities and differences. In both of the myths, the creators were both the same gender. They both had seeds involved, but in the Zulu Creation, the man came from the reed in the seed and in the Navajo Creation the worlds came from the seed. Both worlds had people and some sort of animals. They both had mountains, rivers, and streams. They both had sources of light, such as the sun. In both worlds, the people who lived there loved their final living place. Creation myths are one of the most highly valued myths because the myth itself gives purpose to its culture’s existence through its interpretation of the specific creation of human beings.
By interpreting and analyzing creation myths, we provide ourselves with a window into the driving forces of that culture’s members, as well as a viewpoint on how individuals and society may have viewed their connection to their god(s). In these creation myths, the elements of how, when, and why men and women are created serve as the basis for revealing the specific relationship a culture holds with its God(s). They also provide insights into other relationships. (How to Define Creation Myths, Tiffany Rhoades, 2013) After reading and listening to the two creation myths, I have come to conclusion that, even though most myths come from different cultures and places in time, there will always be some sort of similarities and differences to make them unique in their own special way.
How Creation Myths Define Culture, October 28, 2013 Tiffany Rhoades http://hubpages.com/hub/Creation-Myths-The-How-When-and-Why-that-Define-Culture http://www.bigmyth.com/myths/english/2_navajo_full.htm