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Eric Schumann
Mr. Montanez
English 11
16 December 2014
The Onondaga Native American tribe believes that the natural world has high spiritual power among their people. They also believe that every creature maintains its own power in a spiritual sense. In recognizing that there is a higher power, the Onondaga believe that it is the source of life and good. The natural world also provided animals for the Native Americans. These animals created clothing and a good food source for the survival of the tribe.
The story about the turtle and the earth is what the Onondaga believe was the start of human life. There is a relationship between the people and the natural world because they believe that the muskrat from the natural world brought new, human life to the earth. In the story, the animals that work together to bring earth up shows many different values and beliefs that portray the Native Americans and their own. For instance, after the chief’s wife fell into the hole left by an uprooted tree, all the animals were willing to help rescue her. None of them fought about who would help or dive down. They all were peaceful about the issue. This also portrays the value of peace that the Native Americans possessed.
During the altercation, the women was falling and could have died the two swans worked together to catch the woman and save her. This displays the belief in teamwork which the Native Americans also value highly. The muskrat states that he would, “die trying” to bring earth back from his dive. This shows the loyalty and dedication to the earth which the Onondaga live out through the spirits. The muskrat was the only animal to dive and make it back with earth. This could possibly represent the beginning act that created life. This is why the Onondaga relate to and believe in the higher spiritual being.
As you can see throughout the story of the muskrat and turtle many values and beliefs are shared between the Native Americans. The story is full of…

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