Navajo Myths and Legends Questions

Report
The Earth of Turtle’s Back
1. How do the opening words of this story identify it as an origin myth?
2. What do the chief's words to his wife tell you about the beliefs of the
Onondaga?
3. What does the Skyland Chief's wife dream?
4. In oral literature, why might characters have generic names like "Loon" or
"Muskrat"?
5. From this myth, what can you conclude about the relationship between the
Onondaga and their natural environment? Explain your answer.
When Grizzlies Walked Upright/from The Navajo
Origin Legend
 1. What is the biggest animal made by the Sky Spirit?
 2. What does the mother grizzly bear’s decision reveal
about the culture’s view of responsibility or guilt?
 3. What is the Spirit Chief’s reaction to the mother grizzly
bear’s confession?
 _________________________________________________
 1. Why might the Navajo viewed the wind as the source of
life?
 2. Identify the stages of the Navajo creation ceremony.
 3. What do the order and ritual of the ceremony tell you
about the Navajo people?
from The Iroquois Constitution
 1. What does the speaker say is the nature of the Great
White Roots?
 2. What can you learn about the Iroquois culture from the
items mentioned at the end of the story?
 3. According to the Constitution, what must confederate
lords do to open a council meeting?
 4. What three images from nature does Dekanawidah use
in the Iroquois Constitution? What do these references
tell you about the Iroquois?
 5. Summarize the qualities and conduct required of
council lords by the Iroquois Constitution. How well do
these qualities apply to the leaders in the modern world?

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