How the Earth was Conceived

In the First Times, when the world began, Anningan lived with his sister Malina in a large village which had a dance house. At night it was lit up with stone lamps burning seal oil. On the night when The Peoples history commenced, Malina was dancing and singing in this house when a wind gusted through and blew all the lamps out. While everything was covered in darkness, a man pushed her down and raped her. She struggled against him, but he was very strong, and it was too black to see who he was.

Thinking he might come again if the wind blew out the lamps once more, Malina blackened the palms of her hands with soot. Once more the wind blew through the house, and puffed out the lamps, and Malina found herself thrown to the floor, then defiled. But she would know who he was, and smeared the soot onto his back.

When the lamps were re-lit, she looked for the one with a sooty back, and was horrified to realize it was her brother!

She screamed at him, "Such things are not done! Such things are unheard of!" She was so angry that she took a sharp knife and cut off both her breasts. Flinging them at her brother, she cried, "As you seem to enjoy me! As you seem to have a taste for my body, eat these!"

She snatched a bright torch from the wall, then frantic and wild-eyed, she ran out of the dance house into the dark night. Her brother grabbed up a torch and sprinted after her, but in his haste he stumbled and fell into a snowdrift. The snow put out the flames of his torch so that only embers flickered minutely within it.

A windstorm swept up on them and lifted both high up into the cosmos. Malina was turned into the sun, pregnant with his child, the Earth. Annigan her brother became the moon. Annigan showed no sorrow or remorse for his crime, and still lusts and chases her after her. As long as the moon glows feebly, Malina hides herself, coming out only after he is gone.
Whenever the new moon first appears Malina the Sun Goddess sings:
Aningaga tapika, takirn tapika qaumidjatedlirpoq; qaumatitaudle.
Aningaga tapika, tikipoq tapika.

My brother up there, the moon up there begins to shine; he will be bright.
My brother up there, he is coming up there.

Explanation of the Solar System

Their desperate game of hide and seek continues to this day. Occasionally, Annigan catches his sister, raping her again. This explains the eclipses, and the universe of planets born. The Inuit of Greenland say that if the Annigan had not dropped his torch into the snow, the moon would be as bright as the sun.

Anningan thinks about sex with his sister so often that he forgets to eat. Over the space of a lunar month, he gets emaciated. He then disappears for three days, so Annigan the Moon god can eat.

Background information or history for this creation tale is exceedingly difficult to find(I'm still looking). In an art class years ago, we students were asked to paint a myth, and I looked around for something a bit cooler than Cinderella and the like. I stumbled upon this story.

  • Tales from the Smokehouse an MSN group.
  • Windows to the Universe - whose stated purpose is to; ' develop a fun and different Web site about the Earth and Space sciences'
  • Native American Legends Index
  • The Pyramid Mesa
  • Western Washington University Planetarium - Starlore of Native Americans - Assembled by Brad Snowder