Wyandotte Legends

Wyandotte Legends

November 12, 2001

“In the beginning, the people were all Wyandots. They lived in Heaven. Hoo-wah-yooh-wah-neh, the Great Spirit or mighty chief, led them.

His daughter, Yah-weh-noh, was a beautiful virgin. She became very ill and could not be cured. At last the chief medicine men of the tribe held a council.

They said: ‘Dig up the big apple tree that stands by the lodge of Hooh-wah-yooh-wah-neh. Have the beautiful virgin laid on a bed of boughs near it, so that she can watch the work. She will then be cured.’

“The strongest warriors of the tribe dug all around the roots of the tree, and eventually, it fell through. 

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The spreading branches caught Yah-Weh-noh and carried her with the tree down through the hole it left. Below all was water. 

Two swans saw the beautiful maiden falling. One of them said: ‘I will catch her.’ 

The two swans then called a council of all the swimmers and water tribes to decide what to do with the beautiful young woman. 

The turtle finally agreed that if some of the others would bring up from the bottom some earth and put it on his back he would carry the young woman. The earth was brought up and put on the turtle’s back. 

Immediately a large island formed and became what is known as North America, which was to the Wyandots all the earth. The great turtle carried the island on his back. 

Occasionally he became tired and tried to shift his great load, which caused the island to shake and vibrate. 

Yah-weh-noh, in wandering about the island, found an old woman in a hut. She stopped with her and twins were born to Yah-weh-noh. They were boys. 

One was good and the other was all that was bad. The good one was called Made-of-Fire. The bad one was known as Made-of-Flint. 

“When the boys grew to manhood they enlarged the island and agreed to people it with the things of the earth. They separated each to do half, according to his ideas of the fitness of things. 

Made-of-Fire made everything just as the Indians desired, for his heart was full of love. All the animals were kind and gentle and did not fear the Indians. 

Made-of-Flint, however, made the rough mountains and monster animals, and everything he made was abhorrent to the Indians’ mind. 

When they had done, each, by agreement, inspected the other’s work to modify it. Neither could completely destroy the other’s creations.

Wyandotte Legends