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Greek Creation Myths

Summary of creation myth (Finland)

Professional criticism concerning Greek creation

Summary of creation myth (Eurynome and Ophion)

Comparison of the five myths

Summary of creation myth (Yauelmani Yokuts Of California)

Second professional criticism concerning Greek creation

Summary of creation myth (Indian)

Constrasting of the five myths

Summary of creation myth

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The Creation Myth of Finland


Ilma was the goddess of the air and had a daughter named Luonnatar who lived in the stars. One day, her daughter got lonely and came down and floated in the sea for seven hundred years. She met a male duck who was looking for a place to nest, and it built a nest on Luonnatar's knee. He laid eggs in the nest and sat on them for three days. Luonnatar was in great pain because the nest was burning the skin on her knee. She then moved and the eggs fell into the sea. However, in the sea, the eggs changed form. The yolk turned into the sun, and the whites turned into the moon. The sponts on the outside of the shell became the stars and the black flecks became the clouds.

Eurynome and Ophion

In the beginning of time, there was nothing but sea and darkness. In the sea, there were all of the elements that mixed together without form. Out of the sea rose the Great Goddess of all things, Eurynome. She came out of the waves and began to dance on the top of the ocean. Then the south wind blew and spun her around. It was said that this wind ahad miraculous fertility powers and as she spun, the great serpant of the sea made love to her. Then she turned into a bird and gave birth to an egg, which broke when the serpant coiled his tail around it. The egg cracked and spilled out all of the creatures and physical features of the earth.The Beginning of the World.

The beginning of the World

( A myth from the Yauelmani Yokuts of California)

In the beginning, water was everywhere. On day, a tree, or otherwise known as a piece of wood. On the tree, there was a nest. Many animals, including a wolf, a coyote, a panther, a praire falcon, a hawk, and a condor. There were also many ducks in the nest. The chief of them all was the eagle. All they were able to see was water, no land. The eagle wanted to make the earth, and demanded one of the ducks to go down under the water and bring up the earth. Just as the duck dove and reached the bottom of the ocean, he died. The eagle then called another kind of duck to do the job. The duck dove and when it finally reached the bottom, just as his nails touched the earth, it died. Fortunetaly, it rose to the surfoace of the water and the eagle saw the dirt under the duck's nails. The eagle mixed the little bit of earth from the duck's nails with telis and pele seeds and ground them together and put the mixture into the water. In the morning, earth appeared all around and all of the animals went from living in a small nest to living on the great earth.


Indian Creation Myth

In the beginning of the world, the universe was Soul in the form of the man (Purusa). When he looked around and said, " I am ", the word "I" was created. One day, he desired another human, so he made himself fall into two pieces, from which a husband and a wife were born. The wife wondered," How can he unite with me after engendering me from himself? For Shame! I will conceal myself." Then she turned herself ito acow, and he turned himself into a bull, and they united. This is how cattle were born. Then she became a mare and he a stallion, and they united. They eventually creatied every type of animal all the way down to the ants. He also rubbed his hands together to make heat, then eventually fire. Purusa creates the World.

Bumba's Creation

In the beginning of the world, there was nothin but water and a man named Bumba. One day he was not feeling well and he vomited up the sun. Light covered the world from that day on. The sun's heat dried up the water until and land appeared. He vomited up the moon and then the stars and night time came. He then vomited up nine creations who were humans, and these people created all other creatures of the world. After that, life began and civilization did too.

Comparison of Five Creation Myths

The five creation myths that I have summerized, started with a single being. From this being, everything was created. Whether this being is a a man, a duck, or a woman, they started all life forms on earth. The events that contributed in creating the world were all very fictious. They were events that were are supernatural, and that could only occur in mythology.


Professional Criticism

One of the world's oldest creation myths in the Babylonion enuma elish ( "when on high"), composed no later than the reign of Nebuchadrezzar in the twelfth century B.C.E. and perhaps much earlier. It is in a part a creation myth and in part a celebration of the high god Marduck. As a creation myth, it contains several familiar motifs; the emergence of order from chaos, the primal waters as a source of creation, a war in heaven, the emergence of a king god, and the creation of the earthly matter from the body of the first mother.

Much has been made of the connection between this myth and that of the Old testament story of Genesis. Several scholars have pointed out the inevitable diffusion of ideas in the early days of the great Middle Eastern cultures.


Professional Criticism

The dominance of Spider Woman, the female creative principle, benefits a culture that remains to this day matrilineal. The Hopi creation myth uses many familiar motifs; the creative female principle itself, associated with the earth; the more mysterious divine spirit, the sun god Tawa; the division of the divine parents into new creative forms; and the creation by though a motif common to many Native American mythologies. An interesting development in the nation of the creation by song, and innovation that seems to owe something to anasazi Hopi ritual song-dances.

Most important, The Spider Woman story is an example of an emergence myth, a type of creation myth popular among Native American tribes. The emergence story stresses the ides of the Earth as a womb from which the poeple emerge gradually, as in childbirth. At each stage they grow in knowledge and ability, and only when fully born are they bathed by the light of the sun god's power, the power of Logos, the principle that allows for proper social ordering.


Contrast of Five Five Creation Myths

The five creation myths that I summurized were all quite different. Even though that all shared the basic idea of the creation of the world, they all had different ways and beliefs on how that world was actually created. It seemed that with every religion, and every country had different beliefs on how the world came to be. Some say that man created the world, where others say that the god's created the world. The cultures of these countries and religions are all different and therefore had different outlooks on the creation of the world.

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