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Authors' Pages of the 9th Sphinx

ataentsik - mother of the earth

Paper, ink, 2006, 18 х 12 cm

Ataentsik, creator of the earth, is depicted at the graphics in the moment when she fells from the heaven. She lived with no trouble but was proud and disobedient, so the ruler of the heaven once got angry and pushed her down. Four swimming animals: beaver, muskrat, otter and turtle saved her, but could not return her to the heaven. So muskrat got the pinch of ground from the bottom of the sea and put it on the back of the turtle, then all animals started to dive and brought so much ground that Ataentsik managed to create ground, and water collected in the grooves of turtle shell became with time the rivers. Ataentsik was surrounded with the ancestors of animals and she missed people and created the daughter for herself. Her daughter gave birth to two sons, kind Ioskeha and mean Taviskaron, from the kind one descended all humanity, so in fact Ataentsik is our grandmother. Ioskeha created people and useful plants, and Taviskaron only spoiled everything thus after death he converted to the Rocky mountains.
This legend with some variations is known at many tribes of North America, and tales about Ioskeha and his envying brother are often basis of folklore.


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