Native North American Mythologies

Native American Spirits and Creators

What are some examples of Native American world-parent deities?

The world-parent myth in animistic cultures usually involves the concept that the world literally is the parent deity. The Diegueñ of California tell how Tu-chai-pai made the world by blowing ground tobacco between Mother Earth and Father Sky, who were so close together that he and his brother were too cramped to do anything about creating things. The Tobacco caused the sky to rise up.

The Zuni of New Mexico have a creation myth in which all life was conceived from the union of Earth Mother and Sky Father. But Earth Mother’s womb became so full that she pushed Father Sky away from her and began to sink into the primal waters. The world parents were worried about the survival of their offspring, so Mother Earth kept their progeny in her womb. But eventually, Earth Mother spat into the water, causing foam, and breathed on the foam, allowing her children to emerge. When her offspring came out of her she announced that she would nurture them in her being. Father Sky would send the colder, but necessary, moisture from above.


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