Top 10 Myths About the Origin of Earth
There are several myths that coexist with us; they are present in our day to day habits to our practice of religious rites and customs. Some of the myths sound funny in the today’s given conditions of lifestyle, at the same time it is astonishing to know that people in some parts of world as well our ancestors lived by these myths. The popular myth about earth was that it was flat and a person shall fall off to dark alley from the edge of the earth. If travelers and explorers sat back at home, we all shall be residing at our respective homes without knowing each other and propagating these myths to our future generations. The imperialist invasions however had its repercussions in the form of lost tradition, creolized culture and bloodsheds for regaining independence from the shackles of oppression and slavery. It also debunked myths and beliefs of the natives, thus shaking the religious roots off their feet; so when we look back at mythologies we should not spurn them as superstitious or uncouth set of customs rather a slice of our evolutionary phase and regard them as the rudimentary platform on which our modern world has been constructed.
10. The Tuskegee
The Tuskegee is a Native American tribe and according to their belief, water pervaded everywhere. Some birds and animals decided to have a meeting to choose if there should be all land or water. There was dispute as some wanted water and the other wanted all land. They elected Eagle as their leader and Dove was assigned to find land but after four days Dove returned to say he could not find land anywhere. Then Crawfish swam into the deep water and returned after four days with some dirt in his claws and made it into a ball and handed to their Chief Eagle. The Chief flew away with it and after four days to declare that an island has been formed and there is land, hearing which the creatures reached the small island. In the course of time, more islands were formed and water levels reduced. Some islands joined to form earth as it appears now.
9. Made in China
As per the Chinese mythology, the entire universe was contained in an egg!! The matter swirled in the egg and the whole entity became the slumber ground for the giant named Pan Gu, after a hiatus of 18000 years , he woke up breaking the egg, the lighter and pure contents of the matter rose up to form sky and heavens whereas the impure dirt settled down as earth. Pan Gu fearing that earth and the sky would become one, as it was earlier before the universe was conceived in the egg, decided to hold the sky on his head and earth beneath his feet. However it took another 18000 years for him to grow up and then he realized that the two won’t be entwined again and then he died. After his death, a goddess appeared on earth, her name was Nu Waa; she roamed around the world to find that there is no single living being. In order to end her loneliness, she created life on earth. Thus, started the”made in China” motto!!
8. The Norse
Before earth was created, Niflheim was made that gave way to a spring that divided into twelve rivers. The southern region was hot whereas the northern was cold, when the hot southern wind blew over the northern side, the frozen ice melted to form a man named Ymir, more ice melted to form cow that fed Ymir milk. The cow fed on the ice and as it licked another man emerged out who married the daughter of one of the giants, together they had three children, of whom Odin was the powerful one. Ymir turned out to be evil and then Odin and his siblings killed Ymir and out of the frost giant’s body, they created earth. Ymir’s blood became the sea, his hairs turned into trees and his bone were changed into rocks and mountains. So next time when you sit on a rock, observe if you see a broken limb or rib!!
7. The Yoruba
Life existed in the skies and if one looks down through the mist, one could find vast oceans down. There was a spiritual entity who transcended both genders and therefore had been hailed as the the Supreme named as Olorun. He had many subjects known as orishas , female and male, and they lived happily by the baobub tree. The tree was provider of everything they required, food, clothes and all they wanted came from it. However, Obatala, one of the orisha’s was curious and thought of constructing something on the oceans, since the idea sounded creative to all, they joined Obatala using their spiritual powers. He collected all gold from the orishas and made it into a golden chain, then he gathered sand and added baobub tree’s powder to it and put it in a snail shell. Also he took the seeds and possible things and put it in an egg, after his seven day’s journey climbing down the chain, the sand fell on the water and spread contagiously and solidified the waters. The egg cracked and the spiritual bird Sankofa took its form and flew across the world; the bird carried the spirits of the orishas who helped in blowing the sand into dunes and hills and thus the earth was created. Hope the makers of “Avatar” did take copyright from them before using the concept of the spiritual tree in their storyline!!
The Cherokee myth is similar to the Tuskegee myth. The animals were living happily in the skies, but found it inconvenient to stay up there and were in search of comfortable living space. They sent the water beetle to find if there is any place down the skies, the beetle dove into the vast seas down and gathered mud from the seabed. The mud grew and proliferated and this is how earth was formed.
According to the Maori tribe, humans were parented by Rangi and Papa, also called Heaven and Earth. They had six children and some of them felt if Rangi and Papa do not separate, chaos will be the result. They decided to separate them, and as in the Chinese creation myth, one son took the Heaven on his head and pushed down the earth with his feet. Once the union was disrupted, the multitudes that were produced by them were released.
4. The Senecan
The human beings lived in the skies by a spiritual tree. Once the Chief’s daughter fell sick and one among the clan dream that if the tree is held by its roots, all evils shall be cured. But no one dared to go against the tree, one day the sick girl was brought near the tree, however an angry youth pushed her down the hole in the tree. She fell into the waters down, but the animals saved her by carrying her on top of them. They somehow manged to find and wet dirt and made it into earth and she lived there after giving birth to a daughter.
3. The Hopi
The universe was an endless space. The only spirit that dwelled in it was its creater Taiowa. In this indefinite world, he created a form whom he regarded as his nephew and named him Sotuknang. Sotuknang had been decreed to assist him in creation of nine worlds and he gathered the endless space and formed it into nine finite worlds. As per his creator’s instruction, he made sea, winds, breezes and land. So, it was Sotuknang who created earth with the guidance of Taiowa.
2. The Ainu
The creator god sends a water wagtail to the waters to find land, the bird splashed the ocean waters and gathered the dirt and beat it with its tail. In this way, small islands were formed and they floated the oceans. These islands joined to become earth.
1. The Indian
Of all the myths, the more philosophical one is from India. In the beginning, there was nothing except hunger and death, the subject ‘he’ that could refer to any intuitive self wandered alone in the eternal space. The sentient being had notion to create a mind for self and had it created then. He moved in a revered way and water was generated. Gradually froth was formed on water and then the water solidified to form earth. The philosophical explanation is the formation of Self from Essence; which is also the basic concept of Indian aesthetics.