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Inuit And Greek Mythology

The very early creation legends are difficult to trace to their original
sources, since they were passed along by word of mouth from one generation to
the next. There are many different legends about the origin of the earth, some
similar to those told in other cultures. It is interesting that most of these
legends can be tied together in one or more ways. The Greek and Inuit tribe
versions of early existence are related in many ways. In both interpretations
there is one creator. The Greek version explains that Eurynome, the goddess of
all things, rises naked from chaos and finds nothing for her feet to stand on.

She then separates the sea from the sky and dances upon the waves to the south,
where later her hands would turn into a serpent (Switzer 10). Similarly, in the
Inuit interpretation, a raven is born out of darkness and chaos. He searches
around the dark trying to find his position; he finds water, grass and trees.

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After contemplating about who he is and what makes the grass grow, he eventually
realizes that he is the Raven Father, the creator of all life (Ingpen 67).

Secondly, both interpretations use the bird as the principal creator of all
things. It is thought that Eurynome is the author of the universe. She becomes
pregnant when her serpent hands coil around her. Next, she assumes the form of a
dove and lays a huge egg which the serpent keeps warm until it hatches. The egg
brings forth all the things that now exist: the sun, moon, planets, stars, and
the earth with its mountains, valleys, stream, lakes, all living creatures,
including the first humans (Switzer 11). In like manner, Raven flies through the
darkness and finds a new land, for which he calls Earth. One day, he notices a
giant pea pod and watches it as it splits open and produces a man. He creates
the ox and caribou for the man to eat but tells him not to harm them (Ingpen
68). He continues to create animals, but then creates a woman to be the man’s
companion. Soon the man and woman reproduce and there are many children.

Although similar in some ways, the two creation myths also contrast in several
ways. The Greek version illustrates that Eurynome asexually becomes pregnant and
lays an egg. This giant egg holds all things that now exist. In complete
contrast, Raven witnesses man being brought to life through a giant pea pod. It
is then when he creates a woman so that they can reproduce and have many
children. In conclusion, the Inuit and Greek creation myths compare and contrast
in different ways. Although told in two different eras by two completely
different cultures, the two legends are still comparable in several ways. There
is a variety of legends about the origin of the earth, but similarities can be
traced through practically all of them.


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