Whose Origins are of Old…

Myths & Legends

Source: Anthology of Children’s Literature 4th Edition, 1970, Houghton Mifflin Company.

We’ll visit mythology once more. May I present two myths for you to discover and share with the children in your life?

The Tahltan Indians in North America created the myth Determination of the Seasons.
The story is written by Stith Thompson. Porcupine and Beaver quarreled about the seasons. Porcupine wanted winter to be a certain number of months and Beaver wanted winter to be another number of months. Finally, Beaver gave in to Porcupine until Raven changed the winter months to vary. And that is why the Indians observed agaxewisa month, that is, the month between winter and spring.

In the Hawaiian myth, How Kana Brought Back the Sun and Moon and Stars by Padraic Colum, the sun, moon, and stars were taken away by Ka-hoa-alii (companion to the king) until Kana (a Maui demigod) and his brother Niheu (the sand crab) brought them back. Niheu made people wait on him. Ka-hoa-alii heard about this and to punish Niheu, he stole the sun, the moon, and the stars. Kana and Niheu’s grandmother, Uli, told them to go to Ka-hoa-alii’s country. There they experienced a series of adventures until they worked magic to get the sun, the moon, and stars back in the sky.

We’ve seen that ancient stories from around the world developed to answer the questions “Why?” and “How?” The next time we visit, we’ll meet two heroes. Happy wandering through ancient tales!


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