Native American
Sky woman
By: Amber-Lynn, Jon, Nicole and Ariana

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Annotations!

Before we read the story....

  • The woman is naked so it could show her unknowing of the new world that she is entering and her vulnerability.
  • The triangles in the background could be a representation of her possibly going through three different trials (triangles have three sides)
  • Green background could represent earth or the ground
  • Black bird could represent darkness, safety
  • The geese represent security and companionship due to the fact that they are surrounding her and protecting her.
  • The darker to lighter colours is falling away from evil into light or falling from death to life.

Summary of the story!

Before the world was created, there was an island in the sky inhabited by sky people. One day a pregnant sky woman drops through a hole created by an uprooted tree and begins to fall for what seems like eternity.

Coming out of darkness, she finally sees oceans. The animals from this world congregate, trying to understand what they see in the sky. A flock of birds is sent to help her. The birds catch her and gently guide her down onto the back of Great Turtle. The water animals like otter and beaver have prepared a place for her on turtle's back. They bring mud from the bottom of the ocean and place it on turtle's back until solid earth begins to form and increase in size.

Turtle's back becomes Sky Woman's home and the plants she's brought down with her from Skyworld, including tobacco and strawberries, are her medicine. She makes a life for herself and becomes the mother of Haudenosaunee life, as we know it today.

In time Skywoman gave birth to a daughter who then married west wind and had his babies. One was made good while the other an exact opposite was made evil. Bad mind was impatient and cut his mother open to get out and when Skywoman saw what happened Bad mind lied and blamed Good mind who was then banished. Grandfather was watching from above and taught Good mind skills to rebuild the land. Skywoman placed her daughters head in space to become daughter moon. Good mind began to create goodness on earth which made Bad mind jealous so he began to destroy everything Good mind created. One day Bad mind stole all the animals and hid them in a mountain when Good mind was told what had happened by a tiny mouse he broke the mountain and fought Bad mind. When Good mind won he banished Bad mind to the caves under the earth.

After we read the story...

The naked woman is a representation of her vulnerability and her facing the unknown.

The triangles represent the mother’s, who gave birth to the children (good and evil), body after she got killed by one of her sons after she gave birth and turned into corn, squash, and beans.

The green background represents the growth of earth, vegetation, the land of the earth.

Black geese represent support, safety, comfort.

Archetypes/Symbolism!

Celestial tree- center of the world, core.
When the animals came to slow her descent to earth it could be a representation the fall of an angel/ or goddess.

Water- purity, calmness, beginning

Earth/land- Life, creation, growth, vegetation

The two grandsons- Represents good and evil in the world.

The daughter of the sky woman- First life on earth, birth, first to start new life on earth. When good mind and bad mind battle, it represented the constant war between good and evil in the world

Turtle- This is representing the earth or land that we live upon.

Themes!

  • It's never to late to turn a new beginning into an opportunity for a better life.
  • Creation will always trump destruction.

Cultural Values!

Always respect your parents could a value because even though good mind wasn't the one who did it he got banned for allegedly killing his mother.
Always be good because good triumphs over evil could also be a value because even after the long battle good mind still one in the end.

Tropes!

“Skywoman placed the head of her daughter in the night sky where she became Grandmother Moon and was given power over the waters. From her body grew our Three Sisters, corn, beans, and squash.” Probably figurative language for the moon and the growth of the plants on earth.

Questions!

A. Do you see any character archetypes emerging?

The character archetypes are the children of Tekewherahka, Good mind and Bad mind, they represent the good and the evil of the world. Sky woman represents the birth of the earth. Tekewhereahka represents the first human life in earth.

B. Who are they main characters/creators in the story?

Skywoman, Tekewherahka, Good mind, Bad mind.

Do you see any symbolic or situational archetypes emerging?

For symbolic archetypes I see water, which represents purity, calmness. Earth, which represents growth, life, vegetation. Green which represents goodness. Animals, which represent helpfulness and comfort, population.


i. What is the relationship of man to the natural world. Do you see any symbolic archetypes emerging?the relationship of man and the natural world is that man is the caretaker(s) of the earth.

They are equal with one other since they are working together to form the earth peacefully.

ii. What is the dominion of man versus the dominion of a deity or deities?

The dominion of man has to be worked on and fertilized and has the possibility of dying while the dominion of deities most likely don’t have to do too much to their world to make it grow and that there are more versatile plants and animals in their world and they don’t die off like ours do.


iii. Are there any natural phenomenon and how they are explained within your creation story and what these might symbolize?

There was the birth between good and evil and how good created the beauty of the earth like rivers and animals and vegetation while bad created the bad things on the earth like tornados and rapids in the rivers. These symbolize the good things and the bad things in this world and how and why they were created.


C. Analyze/predict what cultural values might be important within your assigned culture based the themes you can identify in the creation story. (Examples: Is this culture more patriarchal or matriarchal society? Does it value man over nature or nature over man? Are marriage customs discussed or models and, if so, how?

This culture seems to be more matriarchal because in this case a woman discovered this place and gave birth to the world and created the earth when she landed. This story seems to value nature over man but it also shows that they feel man is important for nurturing the earth and it’s inhabitants. No marriage ideals are discussed in the story. Other values seem to be to always appreciate the woman for they gave birth to you.

Cited Work

"Texts for Craig White's Literature Courses." Texts for Craig White's Literature Courses.          Course Site, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2015.