Native North American Mythologies

Earth Divers and Emergers

What is the significance of the emergence creation in Native American mythology?

Clearly the Underworld, where the emergence myth begins, must remind us of the womb of Mother Earth—a dark wet place that contains the potential for life. The act of emergence from one world to the next is a kind of birthing and evolving process. Psychologically, this birthing process represents the human longing for greater consciousness and for fulfillment. Emergence believers typically have ceremonies—especially curing ceremonies—marking the possibility of a new beginning in the present time that mirrors the movement from a lower to a higher state in the creation story. The emergence myth is reflected in the feminine architecture of the earth-hugging Navajo structure, the hogan, and also by the circular kiva, with its symbolic birth entrance or sipapu in the center of the floor.


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