I'm interested in creation stories from various cultures. I find it interesting to see similarities and differences between various "origin of man" and "origin of the world" accounts.

The Ho-Chunk Nation is very visible in the area where I live, yet i know next to nothing about them, their culture, or their mythology, so I thought it'd be interesting to explore their mythology on this site, starting with their creation account.

So, what, exactly is the Ho-Chunk creation story?

1 Answer 1


The entire story can be found here.

This story deals with a Creator god (Earthmaker) who was alone in space, with nothing around him. His first "creation" was his tears, which forms oceans, lakes, and streams.

His following creations (light, earth, plants, etc.) were all thought into existence. He then made man out of clay, and breathed life into man.

A partial excerpt follows:

In the beginning, Earthmaker sat in space and there was nothing around him. He became conscious and realized there was nothing there. He wondered what he should do, and he began to cry. Tears flowed from his eyes and fell down below him. He looked down and saw something bright: it was his tears which had fallen and formed the oceans, lakes, and streams. Earthmaker thought some more. He realized that if he thought of something, it would simply appear. He thought of light and it became light. Then he wished for the earth, and the earth came into existence. Earthmaker looked at the earth and thought it was fine, but it was not quiet and steady: it moved like waves on the ocean. Then he made the trees, but they did not make the earth steady. Then he made grass and rocks and stones and they helped to steady and quiet the earth, but it wasn't really steady yet. So then he made the four directions and the four winds and he placed one at each corner of the earth to hold it down and steady it. But still the earth was not quite steady. He then made four large snake beings and threw them down to the earth, and they fell through the earth to the place underneath. Then the earth was steady and quiet.

The earth and the trees were all formed, but Earthmaker thought of something else He took a piece of clay and shaped it so it looked just like him. He talked to the small form, but it did not answer because he had not given it a mind. He talked to it again, and again it did not answer, and he realized that he had not given it a tongue. He made a tongue for it but still it could not talk. He gave it a soul and breathed into its mouth and it answered him.

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