It is a bittersweet situation that the life and times of the earliest Americans was never documented in written language. The bitter part is that so much is left to conjecture, speculation, and memory. The sweet part is that the life and times of these earliest Americans has been passed down through the ages in rich and eloquent tales of wonder and mystery.
One such wondrous tale of Native American history tells the story of how the Six Nations of the Iroquis came into being.
This lovely tale of legendary Native American history begins in a time so long ago that there were no people on the Earth and no land either. There were only birds in the sky and huge monsters in the waters that covered the whole planet.
After many years passed with the Earth in this form, the birds saw that a beautiful woman was falling from the sky. The birds were afraid for her safety and the ducks held council to find a way to save her.
The many ducks decided to spread their wings as wide as they could to make a net with which they could catch her and break her fall. Each duck spread his strong wings as far as he could, until all the ducks’ wings were touching. They caught the beautiful woman and saved her from the water.
The monsters of the deep saw this and wanted to help. They, too, held council to devise a plan to protect the beautiful woman from the terrors of the endless sea.
It was decided that only the Giant Tortoise was big enough to save the beautiful woman. He gladly volunteered and the beautiful woman was gently placed on his back.
At this point, the Giant Tortoise grew even bigger, until, as if by magic, he grew so large he became an island. The beautiful woman who fell from the sky became known as the Celestial Woman and she lived on the island made by the Giant Tortoise.
In time, the Celestial Woman gave birth to twin sons. One of them was the Spirit of Good. He made all the things on Earth which are good, such as the corn, nuts, and fruit for food and tobacco for pleasure. The other son was the Spirit of Evil. He created weeds, worms, and bugs.
As more children were born, the Giant Tortoise continued to stretch, making the world larger and larger. Sometimes he stretched so hard and moved in such a way that the Earth shook.
The people spread across the land, making homes in places where many majestic animals lived. Those people who lived where the bears lived became known as the Bear Clan. The people who lived among the beavers were called the Beaver Clan. The peoples of the Deer, Wolf, Tortoise, and Snipe Clans got their names for the animals who lived near them, too.
And if there had ever been any Native American history books, that’s exactly how the story would be written.