Native North American Mythologies

Earth Divers and Emergers

What is the nature of the emergence creation?

The emergence creation is found among many tribes of the American southwest. The Acoma people and other Pueblo tribes, and the Navajo, for example, all say that they emerged into this world from a world, or worlds, below the earth. In this emergence process, the people move gradually from an insect or lower animal state to the human condition. As the people emerge from the womb of the earth, they are often led by a goddess. Spider Woman or Thinking Woman, for instance, assist the Acoma and Hopi people, in effect, acting as a birthing midwife.

This sipapu (the smaller hole next to the fire pit) found in an old Pueblo settlement in Mesa Verde National Park, represents the portal from which the ancestors of mankind emerged, according to myth.


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