Creating Your Own Myth
Now that you have read and listened to several Native American myths, wouldn’t it be fun to think of your own “creation myth” or “animal myth?”
Think about the following ideas:
• According to N. Scott Momaday, the Native American “is deeply invested in the earth, committed to it both in his consciousness and in his instinct. In him, the sense of place is paramount. Only in reference to the earth can he persist in his true identity.”
• Animals are often important in Native American myths. Often animals give advice, help humans learn lessons, or personify ideas like courage and determination.
• Creation myths help explain how we came to be. Often nature plays an important role in Native American myths. Native Americans valued and revered nature in its many forms.
• Some Native American myths seek to explain natural phenomenon in our world (why crickets chirp, the origin of lightening, why the wind blows, etc.).
• Many Native American myths feature a trickster–like the Coyote who tries to fool humans into believing his story.
Using one of these ideas, create your own one-page myths. You will be asked to read your myth out loud, since the early myths were an important part of the Native American oral tradition. You might explore your own creation through the use of a particular aspect of nature. You might develop an animal character who tries to trick the characters in your story.
You might also choose an unusual phenomenon in nature and seek to explain it with your myth. Have fun and use your imagination!